A summary of a report sent from our Associate Office Cyan International India (CII) with regards to their Covid-19 feeding program in Delhi.

A nationwide lockdown was announced on 24 March 2020 by the Indian Prime Minister. This was a   lockdown which involved both a curfew and movement restrictions.

With millions of informal economy workers on the streets of greater Delhi, many of these workers started to walk to their home villages. It is estimated that as many as 2 million people either left Delhi or stayed, but without means of income or food.

The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Delhi called on Good Samaritans and Organisations to come forward to assist in the relief effort, as the Government help would not be enough or in time in these unprecedented circumstances.

CII along with its partners set up two Community Kitchens, with the mandate to produce food packets which would be distributed to Police Stations, the Railway Protection Force and local NGOs for distribution to the public. The CII volunteers cheerfully prepared, packed and supplied 5000 meals a day to the various agencies.

Additionally, volunteers entered “Containment Zones” (areas of high Covid-19 rates whose populations were not allowed to leave the area) with local members of the Legislative Assembly to provide dry rations to people who were stuck in these areas.

The operation reached its peak when the migrant workers were collected in various stadia for registration and reservation for a journey back to home villages. At this point the Police contacted CII and its partners for help in the provision of food. By this time, the number of meals being produced was topping 10,000 a day. The workers were also provided with water bottles, face masks and dry food packets.

The relief effort was eventually able to be wound down after approximately 75 days of operating at full capacity. It is anticipated that around 250,000 packages were distributed over the 75 days of action.