• Pranjali pawde

Talk with a real corona warrior; Mr. Gourav Maratha

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Social workers are a hope for the backward society today. Where requests include the word ‘government’, relief includes the word ‘NGO’. One of the very hard working NGOs of Indore today is Social Plant Welfare Society. The rising cases in Indore have affected millions, but thanks to people like Mr. Gourav Maratha, no person goes to sleep without food in the city. He is a young founder of the newly registered NGO and has been working towards betterment for a couple of years now. Started with blood donation due to some personal reasons, he and his team have only moved forward and they are successfully distributing food to 2,000 people/day in Indore. With a hardworking team of around 50 volunteers, Social Plant welfare society is marking its name with good words. It was my utter pleasure to interview a 25-year old founder and such a terrific person.

Q. “Please introduce a bit about your roles in the time of this pandemic.” I am the founder of the NGO Social Plant Welfare Society that we registered around 8 months back. I am proud to say that we are a team of young and dedicated people who majorly work with blood donation and also any help that we can do to humanity. Due to the current lockdown and financial situations going on in India, it has become vital to helping with both hands. We are around 50 people, some of which help us by cooking meals and others by delivering it to needy. I can for sure say that no person is sleeping hungry in Indore today. And for this, I would like to thank many other hard-working NGOs like ‘Rahe Na Rahe Hum Group’, ‘Aditi Foundation’, ‘Yodha Foundation’. We started with the distribution of 600 packets/ day and are reaching more than 2,000 people today. Not everyone needs a cooked meal, therefore we also provide ration packets to those in need.

Q. “Apart from private NGOs, govt. also promises to be distributing food packets. Is that actually happening?” Yes, the state government is a big support to the lower economic class. But somewhere, the results aren’t fulfilling. The main offices are trying to supply as per the needs and cover the complete ground, but middlemen don’t let that happen. And somehow, the food that was packed for 100 people, only reach 30 or 40 of them. This ratio is a bit disturbing and that’s why the private NGOs have to ensure to help the rest 60 people too. As this is no time to play the blame game, but actually help!

Q. “What is the general public’s response towards your act?” We have been really lucky in that part. I would like to truly thank everyone in Indore for being so generous and brave hearts. People appreciate our work and are stretching their hands to be a part of the process. Some help by donating money and some donate food for society. There are many youngsters who have come up to help in the distribution process too. We have seen participation from every caste, religion, age, and gender in these tough times and we thank them for it.

Q. “Have you come across any particular story that you would like to share?” So, one of the families whom we are trying to help is a family of a disabled couple. In normal situations, they earned their bread and butter by other's charity, but it has only been more difficult with changing times. The couple can’t see or work below the waist, and when they first reached out to us we started with a pack for a day or two, but now we make sure to deliver food packets to them every day. It’s important that society understands that some people need more help than others and this is the time to be the bigger person.

Q. “What are some major troubles that you are facing?”

Our major trouble sums up to one; distribution. Due to quickly changing rules and guidelines and overburden, it’s not possible for us to get green cards for every volunteer and at the same time, it is not being issued that easily too. We understand the problem’s government and the police department is facing as positive cases in Indore are rapidly rising. But that is also why we need to be quicker in distribution. Many of us are stopped and considered to be rule-breakers, where we are only trying to help with all precautions. Many-a-times police department is very co-operative too but distribution still stands as a challenge.

Q. “How does the future look like to you, right now?” It is very uncertain! Giving the circumstances, I cannot say when things will get back to normal or even if it will ever be normal again. All I can say for sure is that there are approx. 35 lakh needy people in Indore and we are working on a 24-hour food distribution basis to help as many as we can. And we are not stopping until situations return back to normal for them! Please click here to read about many other corona-warriors and their thoughts.

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