Sadhu Vaswani Mission serves Red-light District Budhwar Peth in Pandemic
Updated: May 8
21stand 23rdApril 2021, Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune organized service activities spanned over two days in the red-light area of Budhwar Peth, Pune.
The area, similar to last year, was in dire need and the dwellers were anxiously waiting for help and assistance. Sadhu Vaswani Mission, as initial and immediate assistance, with the cooperation of the police authorities, distributed 1000 ration kits to the occupants in the red-light area. Each ration kit consisted of 5kg wheat flour, 5kg rice, 1kg dal, 1kg pulses, 1kg poha/sabudana/suji, 1kg sugar, 1litre cooking oil, and 250gms tea. The ration kit can last for an average of 15+ days.
“The police officials from the Faraskhana Police Station reached out to us and informed us of the need that our sisters are facing. While we are carrying out sevas in the city and suburbs, we felt it necessary that we help our sisters in these difficult times. A survey was conducted by the police officials and they got in touch with us with the precise requirement. We immediately swung into action,” said a Mission official.
“We began with the packing of the ration kits with 16 volunteers and completed it within minimal breaks so the next step of distribution could be expedited. Simultaneously, the police officials allotted and distributed coupons to beneficiaries,” he continued.
The loading of ration kits into the Mission van was followed by a prayer led by Didi Krishna Kumari. At the location, coupon holders were queued up with adherence to social distancing and masking and only one beneficiary at a time was allowed to take the kits. Coupons also ensured that the kits reached the right hands and there was no duplication. Sisters with little ones were also given joy packets consisting of biscuits, toffees, and chips. Also, on day one of the sevas, Dr. Sanjay Shinde IPS, Additional Commissioner of Police, Pune joined in the labour of love — distributing the kits with his own hands.
The beneficiaries were relieved at the timely sevas. “With the strict curfew, although the groceries are open for specific hours, the sisters are lacking finances to make even small purchases to feed themselves. The distribution came as a relief to them; the smile seen in their eyes was telling how grateful they were. To us, it is the Masters' grace that brings respite to all those in need,” said a volunteer.
Given the severity of the second wave, safety measures are strictly adhered by the volunteers.“We are using double masks — one disposable and another N95 with nitrile safety gloves. The police personnel are ensuring discipline and one of them even commented that is the most orderly distribution, especially in these times, that they have come across,” said a volunteer. A total of 20 volunteers conducted the distributions.
On 23rd April morning, about 200 transgenders were also given ration kits along with other women from the red-light area. Their children were again served, this time with fruit drinks and bananas. Dr. Priyanka Narnaware, Deputy Commissioner of Police, also graced the occasion and served ration kits with her own hands.
In the following week, the Mission distributed 2000 hygiene kits to them.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading and surpassing the peaks of the first wave, severely impacting India and the condition of the poor is particularly grim. To counter this challenge, Sadhu Vaswani Mission has once again risen to the occasion and is multiplying its seva efforts to reach the poor and needy, daily wagers and helpless ones to provide for their basic necessities.