Scores of well-wishers, volunteers, and donors have been working relentlessly during the COVID-19 crisis in Vizag to help those in need. One such inspiring group of individuals, called Vizag Volunteers against COVID-19′, has used the power of social media and online messaging services like WhatsApp to collaborate and amplify the COVID-19 relief work in the city. We caught up with Karnatakapu Satish – the founder of the group to know more about their activities during the pandemic.
Shed light on the relief work your group has been doing since the pandemic hit
“Within just a few days after the lockdown began, we came up with an action plan and created a group on WhatsApp with volunteers from various areas in Vizag. Since then, Vizag Volunteers has been working extensively to distribute fresh meals, masks, and sanitizers to those in need. We have distributed over 1 lakh meals within 48 days, starting from 27 March 2020.”
Tell us about the back-end coordination of Vizag Volunteers
“We are all youth currently residing in Vizag. To begin with, over 500 of us divided ourselves based on our localities and the choice of relief work we want to take up. Information is constantly updated on the group about the issues that need our immediate assistance. We then re-group and fulfill the requirements accordingly.”
What relief activities has your group been undertaking?
“Distribution of cooked meals, distribution of groceries, especially in tribal areas like Paderu, donation of face masks, sanitizers, and other protective equipment, assistance to the police department in enforcing the lockdown, taking care of the immediate needs of stranded migrants – some of them are on their journey back home. So our focus is on providing food, safe drinking water, medicines, and anything else they may need on their journey.
While all these activities have been self-funded in the beginning, people have been approaching us to donate to the cause. We have actively been collaborating with other NGOs and volunteer groups to help the underprivileged.”
Milaap Fundraiser for the on-going relief work: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-chandan-44?utm_source=shorturl
To contact Vizag Volunteers against COVID-19, call 7978041849