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“Never in my 70 years of life have I ever seen days as bad as covid-19 lockdown”: Shyamu

70-year-old Shyamu native of Gonda district, Uttar Pradesh has been staying in Lucknow for the past few years so as to earn a better living by pulling a peddle rickshaw. However in March 2020 when the first covid-19 lockdown was imposed his only source of earning came to a standstill. He managed his survival for some days by utilizing his savings and taking up work as a daily wage laborer so as to afford at least one meal in a day. For some days he depended on food distributed by people for the needy; however, his survival was at risk once again when food distribution was stopped and due to his increasing age taking up work as labor was getting difficult. Shyamu resides near Mill Road, here is a shelter home of Lucknow Municipal Corporation which is being operated by Badlav Organisation. With the support of Goonj Organisation an initiative of ‘Khichdi Dhaba’ was started which was solely aimed at providing food to those whose survival was at stake due to covid-19 lockdown and were unable to arrange meals for themselves or their family, these included mentally disabled people, homeless, labor living on pavement and beggars. With this initiative, 350 people were fed daily, out of which 100 people used to come to the shelter home for their food and 250 people were supported by a team of Badlav by providing food at their respective places. Shyamu was also one of the many beneficiaries of the ‘Khichdi Dhaba’ initiative.