The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people from India’s large informal sector and the lesser privileged communities, who still do not have access to essentials and daily needs, which includes food.
Under the leadership of Radha Goenka, RPG Foundation has embarked upon Milkar, an initiative that draws from the strengths of government, private sector, NGOs and the people of Mumbai to address the growing hunger challenge due to Covid-19. Through Milkar, she aims to bridge the gap between the people in need and the people who can help.
Radha Goenka, Director, RPG Foundation , said, “We have always prided ourselves at being able to pivot to meet critical needs of the communities we work in. As the pandemic struck, we were able to activate relief efforts immediately. Milkar is the next step for RPG Foundation’s relief efforts, and we feel honoured to be founding members of this unique initiative.”
With several NGOs such as Akshaya Patra, International Association for Human Values, CRY, Salaam Mumbai, etc. currently working to provide relief, Milkar brings them on a common platform to provide better coordination between them and the BMC, in collaboration with the corporate partners RPG Foundation, Godrej & Boyce and the ATE Foundation. The Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Uddhav Thackeray and the Honourable Minister for Tourism and Environment, Shri Aditya Thackeray recently launched the initiative.
As part of this first-of-a-kind initiative, all donations made will be matched five times by participating corporate donors. With robust support from the BMC along with a starting corpus of ₹3.5 crore contributed by the participating corporate groups, Milkar will provide real-time data on the city’s urgent food and grain needs, while the NGOs will use the donations to source, package and distribute food and grain to a list of pre-determined beneficiaries. The website has been built in association with the crowdfunding platform Ketto.
Milkar tracks ration requirements across all 24 wards of Mumbai and represents the need on a map of Mumbai, sanctioning individual citizens to donate by selecting a ward in the city as well as one or more NGO/s working in those wards.
If one wishes to contribute to the cause, they can log onto milkar.org and make their selection of the ward and the NGO. Donations upto ₹50,000 will be matched five times by the corporate donors.
The Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Uddhav Thackeray said, "In these uncertain times, food security is very important for those left most vulnerable by the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to congratulate all the stakeholders — large corporates, NGOs, BMC and Mumbaikars — on the occasion of launching Milkar for Mumbai, an online platform that will help provide food safety to those vulnerable over the long-term in Mumbai. I hope every Mumbaikar will donate to this noble cause where every rupee raised will be matched five times by corporates."
Anant Goenka, MD and CEO, CEAT, said, "We, at RPG Foundation, are grateful to the BMC and to the Government of Maharashtra for giving us the opportunity to support this unique initiative. With Milkar, we aim to feed the many people that are going hungry due to the Covid-19 crisis. We urge everybody to come forward and contribute generously to ensure that every person in Mumbai city is free from hunger and can live with dignity."