Date- January 21, 2014
At noon on six days every week, Aryan, 8, makes a dash to a stall in his slum in north Delhi – and returns satiated and smiling. The reason? It is the only time he gets to enjoy a full meal for free, and is treated like the child that he is.
In another part of the city, Vishnu is studying for his exams scheduled for the next day. He is just one of many disempowered children in his locality receiving free education. Instead of a life of adversity and ignorance, he today harbours dreams of a better tomorrow.
The lives of Aryan and Vishnu – and hundreds like them – are being transformed thanks to Relief India Trust (RIT), which provides basic support structures, facilitates a better quality of life and alleviates human suffering.
In their very raw battle for survival and the daunting challenge of fending for themselves one day at a time, Relief India is a beacon of hope for the underprivileged of the country.
Says Shikha Dhawan, chief aid officer with RIT: “We respond to adversity and commit to recovery for weeks, months and even years. Whenever, wherever people are in crisis, we work with you, our donors and partners, to deliver the help they need.
“Engaging with the section of society that needs a helping hand isn’t just the right thing, it is necessary, especially at a time when capitalist tendencies and selfish needs abound.”
RIT’s efforts have not only made a difference to many lives, it has inspired quite a few to follow a similar calling.
Begum Noor, whose daughter was a beneficiary of RIT’s ‘Literacy for Adolescent Girls’ campaign, wants to give back to society in her own small way.
She has set up a blackboard in her house and her daughter, now armed with education, tutors children from the weaker sections of the society.
Says Begum Noor: “We can only keep what we have by giving it away. I am very proud of my daughter and will never forget RIT’s role in it.”
Community participation, education, protection and promotion of environment, and building of human capital are central to the activities of the organisation.
A variety of awareness programmes are created and shared on diseases like AIDS and cancer, for which camps are set up and run all over the country from time to time.
RIT also provides managerial and technical assistance as well as training to other NGOs, governments of developing nations as well as agencies in the private sector.
“Guided by experience and expertise, we are always ready to act and respond: Emergency medical and humanitarian aid immediately moves through our strong distribution network into the hands of first responders on the ground, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion, saving lives,” says Dhawan.