Three people have set out on a nationwide journey from Delhi to create awareness about Covid-19. The trio who have started their journey in October, will be travelling for more than 25000 kilometers in two months covering different states and documenting the impact of the lockdown which started due to Covid-19 pandemic in March.
"During the lockdown, we were all in the comfort of our houses, without anything to worry about. While it was not the case with the thousands of migrant workers who had to move from place to place during lockdown walking thousands of kilometers,” Siddhartha Dutta, a fundraiser said. He is on a journey along with two filmmakers- Neha Chaturvedi and Ahmer Siddiqui.
“During the pandemic, we saw the problems and sufferings of a large section of society. So we did what we could in the neighborhood. Soon we realized this was not enough. Now that things have opened up we began this journey to do something more," Dutta says.
The journey has been named as the 'Road Ashram' campaign, which began on October 4 along the borders of the country. The team has travelled along the China and Nepal borders in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They further went to Kolkata and Sikkim.
The three have also traveled along the Bhutan border in Jaigaon, West Bengal followed by Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Sunderbans in West Bengal and Orrissa, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu.
"The impact of the pandemic is not just a medical crisis. It’s also humanitarian concern. The purpose of the Road Ashram is to bring attention to some of their stories. This humanitarian crisis will take much longer and a lot of collective will and effort to resolve and we all will have to keep striving to find our feet back on a stable ground," said Siddhartha.
While the trio document people's stories which will be strung together at the end of the journey, they are also raising funds for the needy through the Road Ashram campaign. The group is collecting funds through their website that go to the Rise Against Hunger in India, a non-profit organization in India.
Ahmer Siddiqui who is driving the "Road Ashram says, “The idea is to stay on the road – in our very own, personally crafted car, that we have decided to call ‘Road Ashram’. Through our 60-day drive on the kacha-pakka roads on the borders, we wish to raise awareness and resources to help people facing difficulties due to the pandemic. Alongside, we will share videos and stories of India’s diverse cultures, places, and everything else that makes India what it is –a diverse, colourful and fascinating India.”