Reach Out, a project in the neighbourhood of Goregaon (Mumbai)
The pandemic isn’t yet over and neither is the work of those trying to bring relief from its consequences. This is what happens at Goregaon, a suburb in the east Mumbai area of India.
The Reach Out project is them: a group of about twenty friends of different ages who meet up every Sunday to cook together. They are Anthony, Rahul, Alin, Lavina, Ryan, Kaveesh, Raxson, Rahul, Natasha and even more….. Some give up a football match, some a bicycle ride or simply their free time. But, they assure its worth it! They are from Mumbai, India and from the month of May 2021, they haven’t stopped! They continue to support a total of about 70 families in need, in the neighbourhood of Goregaon.
They tell us: «Due to the pandemic, an immediate effect of the lockdowns imposed in the months March 2020 and April 2021, in Mumbai, was the loss of many people’s job. Entire industries have left families without income at home. Especially those who survived on tourism, transportation jobs, restaurants and housework…… it is estimated that approximately 100 million people lost their job from the month of April 2020».
The lack of government and public support and services has further aggravated the living conditions of these people. So, in the month of May 2021, this generous group of youth started the Reach Out project. Literally “reach out”. «We started reaching out to people who lived mostly under the highways, giving them 60 meals per week. After a month, we found another group of families who lived in the same locality, to start an initiative of relation and support that would go beyond the simple distribution of meals. In fact, we wanted to understand their difficulties, to help them in the best way possible».
The number of people who are in need of help, unfortunately, increases rapidly day by day. As of today, every Sunday, the youth of Reach Out distribute food to 130 people. Not only.
In the same month of May 2021, they also identified around 20 families in need of support and a hot meal every day. «So, every month we also distribute a food ration of rice, wheat flour, oil, lentils, 1kg of chickpeas and 1kg of sugar. The number of families, in the meantime, are more than twice the initial number: we reach around 45 families for a total of 200 people».
This service naturally incurs some costs. But since the start, they have experienced that giving triggers a virtuous circle, that of reaching out. «We started this project thanks to a small donation and now we have been going on for about a year only because of what we receive. These are goods and items that we receive constantly through our friends, who give us rice, eggs, hens, soap, sweets, pizza, blankets». Many are the facts that show us how much Reach Out has now touched the hearts of the people close to them, who never fail to give their support. «One day, we realised that we didn’t have 5kgs of rice to cook the following Sunday. The same day the nuns of the seminar at Goregaon called us saying that they had rice for our project: a whole 75kgs!
Narrates another: «Last evening, as we were driving back from the distribution we came across two nuns of the St. Pius seminar who were returning home by foot. We stopped to greet them. One of the two, then asked us if we could have given them a lift as they were quite tired of walking….. when we reached the seminar they told us to wait and a minute later came out with a sack of 25kgs of chickpeas!
Anyways, these 20 young friends who thought they were reaching out to many with their solidarity in turn were reached… by an avalanche of generosity!
And Reach Out continues…