Farming parents of a deputy tax commissioner in India used their life savings to feed poor families during the ongoing nationwide lockdown amid the CCP virus outbreak.
Dr. Bhagirath Manda, an Indian Revenue Service officer who is currently the deputy income tax commissioner in Delhi, spent his childhood watching his farmer parents save in tiny increments to make sure they had a safety net.
However, as the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures pushed poor rural communities to the brink of starvation, Dr. Manda’s elderly parents didn’t hesitate to empty their life savings—all to make sure that those less fortunate had enough to eat during the crisis.
The farmer couple, who lives in the desert city of Jodhpur in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, had immediately offered up their life savings to those around them.
Dr. Manda’s mother, Munny Devi, father, Paburam Manda, and brother Ramnivas Manda with the support from the local administration set to identify a target of 6,000 families in need across 80 rural villages to send aid packages.
Ramnivas told The Epoch Times via a Facebook message that they started the rationing on April 5, 2020, and have distributed around 7,000 food kits so far to those who are in the direst need of sustenance, which makes it 1,000 families more than their initial target of 6,000.
Ramnivas said that such selfless initiatives by “humble farmer families should be highlighted to spread the positivity in the society” during the time when the whole world is battling against the global health emergency caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
Using suppliers from around the district who have pitched in to help, the Manda family assembled kits that consist of 10 kilograms (approx. 22 pounds) of flour, 1 kilogram (approx. 2 pounds) of pulses, 1 liter (approx. 35 ounces) of cooking oil, biscuit packets, ground spices like turmeric, chili and coriander, and soaps, as mandated by the sanitary norms amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr. Manda told The Better India that he had been concerned at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak about what the economic implications of safety-inspired lockdowns would be for poor communities.
He knew that rural areas were often just barely able to get by and wondered what would happen if they were left without any source of income to provide their households with food. That was where Dr. Manda saw his parents and his older brother stepping in.
Practicing social distancing protocols during the distribution process, Dr. Manda along with his older brother and parents are making sure that everyone who is struggling to feed themselves during the crisis is able to go home with food.
“I am simply contributing my bit, most of the work is being done by my parents and my elder brother Ramnivas Manda,” Dr. Manda told The Better India.
The Manda family has ensured that even those who might be overlooked because they can’t travel are getting the supplies they need as well. Using volunteers identified from each local area, the team has been delivering the food kits to families who are unable to reach the distribution centers, particularly those with elderly residents.
Ramnivas told The Epoch Times that he hopes his parents’ story will “inspire millions to come forward” so that more people can contribute toward this urgent common cause.