Due to the rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world, social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine precautions were taken, followed by a lockdown at the directive of the Government of India, to contain the spread of the virus.

Though necessary, these preventive measures shone a harsh light on the widespread poverty in India, where many people are homeless and thus unable to quarantine themselves at home. Further, due to closure of all but the most necessary and urgent businesses and work, thousands of daily-wage laborers and migrant workers, many of them in the construction industry, were left without a source of income or access to rations and food, sometimes without access to toilets and even homes. With the discontinuation of public transport, they were left with no option but to travel on foot to their hometowns.

The government, NGOs and many social workers started food drives to ensure that these workers and their families could be sustained without having to leave the cities, which could be dangerous. Social workers, volunteers and organizations have been working tirelessly with the government and police to provide cooked meals to the lesser privileged. Other initiatives are providing rations that would sustain families through the quarantine period.

DesignAware is raising awareness about these food drives on our social media channels. A virtual lecture series by architects from all over the world, Road Less Traveled, has been organized to raise funds that are being channeled towards providing food and other necessities to displaced construction and daily-wage workers during the lockdown. Speakers participating in the lecture series have volunteered their time to raise funds for this cause, identifying localized relief efforts in their home cities. This lecture series can be downloaded for viewing and the fee would contribute towards this cause.

The Road Less Traveled virtual lecture series was attended by 58 participants live, and has been successful in raising ₹1,00,000 in 2 weeks of quarantine!

The funds have been channelized towards the following organizations:

+Amoomat Society in Hyderabad, India, a women’s rights organization currently providing home-cooked meals to displaced migrant workers all over the city of Hyderabad during the lockdown

+United for a Fair and Just Society (UFJS) in Hyderabad, an organization supplying rations to the elderly, daily-wage workers who are now without an income, and their families during the lockdown

+Medicos del Mundo in Madrid, an international NGO of medical workers treating COVID-19 patients all over the world, but particularly in Madrid, Spain

Click here if you would like to access the Road Less Traveled virtual lecture series online.

If you would like to make a donation without attending the lecture series, fill in the form below.