Coronavirus-news May 7, 2020
#CovidWarriors – Lit the Light Trust is lighting up the lives of disabled people in tough times
NewzHook salutes work of NGOs from across India that have been reaching out to people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our May campaign #CovidWarriors celebrates some of these heroes. Today we feature Chennai-based ‘Lit the Light Trust’ that is reaching out to the disabled community with essential commodities.
The spread of COVID-19 has affected people with disabilities in many ways, especially daily wage workers. Reports state that thousands of disabled people are struggling to make ends meet due to lack of financial support. Hundreds of NGOs are helping such people during times of distress. Amongst them is Chennai-based ‘Lit the Light Trust’. The NGO that mainly works with Tamil Nadu’s visually impaired people is reaching out to people with all kinds of disabilities now.
Lending a helping hand during COVID-19 times
Barath SN, Founder, Lit the Light Trust says that the ongoing dark times has affected India’s disabled community adversely and in many ways. So ‘Lit the Light’ wanted to support them.
There are many people with disabilities who sell their hand-made products on roadsides, inside trains and bus stations. Due to lack of money, most of them along with their families are starving. Barath and his team has been providing grocery kits to such families. Each kit contains essential items like rice, vegetables and oil.
Due to the lockdown, thousands of families where a disabled person is the sole bread winner, is now struggling. They are unable to run the families because they cannot even go out. ‘Lit the Light Trust’ wants to reach out to as much as people as possible. – Barath SN, Founder, Lit the Light Trust
The initiative was started last April. Till date, they have helped over 450 families and is aiming to hit another 450 soon. “We had identified 900 families who are in dire need of help. Our team is reaching out to these people who are located at various parts of Tamil Nadu, especially rural areas. We have covered 22 districts as of now. We are trying to rope in corporate companies to help fund us”.
Helping Tamil Nadu’s disabled community
Barath says that their team has received help from many high ranked police men and other officials. That is one of the reasons why they could carry on their activities during the lockdown period. The team has volunteers in all parts of Tamil Nadu. But at times, accessing rural areas becomes a tough task. “Our volunteers have been unable to reach some parts of Tamil Nadu. So we have requested help from cops. They are very kind-hearted and was ready to help us anytime”, says Barath.
Many people with disabilities have been calling up Barath and his team to say a thanks for the help rendered to them. “Our donations are only from volunteers and some well-wishers. We have a WhatsApp group through which all of us are connected. Our work is transparent too. I want to thank all our well-wishers and volunteers who have been helping us make this work a reality”, adds Barath.
Mohana Priya, one the volunteers and coordinators says, “I have been part of ‘Lit the Light Trust’ ever since they began. During this lockdown period, I’am very active in their work. We have a team of people who identify and verifies beneficiaries. There is a lot of work, but we are all enjoying it. We hope to reach out to more disabled people in days to come”.
‘Lit the Light’ needs more funds to reach out to more people with disabilities as the lockdown has been extended to 17 May. Barath says that help from government would be much appreciated. “In some rural areas, people with disabilities do not even know how to get help”, says Barath.
Do you want to contribute towards ‘Lit the Light Trust’ activities? You can contact Barath at +91 98949-49878 or Ram at +91 80562-07601.
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