Since March last year, it has been a lengthy ordeal for locals in the Madhya Pradesh commercial capital Indore even as elsewhere and volunteers have found various ways to extend succour. The online medium has helped lakhs, especially in lockdown when thousands lost jobs and had no work to earn money. In huge financial distress, even middle class families approach the volunteers for help like ration. To help out these people, these volunteers hold camps and let these needy people pick up their essentials from there. For others, the volunteers drop essentials at doorsteps. One such platform is Daanpatra.
A mobile phone application that has been developed by sibling duo– Akanksha and Yash Gupta, who run a small software company in Indore, Daanpatra has come handy in helping distressed locals hit hard by the lockdown last year and this time as well. But the platform has been helping the needy since the past three years ago when it launched. The lockdown has just widened the ambit of who they reach out to help.
“Some years ago, at one of my cousin’s wedding, we were left with so much food and had no clue how to send it to the those in need,” Yash Gupta told News18.com when asked what prompted them to develop this app.
In a city like Indore there are thousands of who spare ration, old toys, shoes, electronic items, clothes and other essentials which they wish to donate and the Daanpatra app helps them reach those in need, Yash claimed, adding that anyone can upload picture of the item with the address and their volunteers pick it up and hand it over to those in need.
“There are around 4000-5000 volunteers connected to us who inform about the need of locals including daily wage labourers, beggars, homeless and others,” said Gupta. He says the platform doesn’t accept cash and urges donors to either offer goods or pay directly to shopkeepers who offer goods to those in need.
“The local administration had been extremely supportive and no policeman even stopped our volunteer out on service,” says the young technocrat.
“Presently we are operating in Indore but in future we plan to expand network when we have supportive mechanism in place. He admitted that with over two months of coronavirus curfew, large numbers of families are in need of ration more than anything else.
“We have a team of around a dozen including field workers and back end support staff,” said Priyanka Ramani, who acts as a back end support executive.
In last three years, around 70,000 donors have connected to them, helping over seven lakh locals, the foundation said which circulates helpline numbers 62633-62660 and 78283-83066 for anyone in need to contact them.