While the coronavirus pandemic has left many people with little money to buy essentials, many community organizations have come forward to extend all possible help to vulnerable people. Among those are the Nirankari Mission Australia and India Support Centre who have been busy providing dry rations and other means of subsistence.
Sunny Duggal, a keen community worker, attributes his dedication and commitment to community service to the Nirankari Mission to which he belongs.
‘Nirankari Mission has always inspired me and my family to come forward to help and support the wider community in need, irrespective of the faith or background’, said Mr Duggal.
- Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses shut resulting in loss of jobs.
- Those affected included international students and other CALD community members.
- This sudden turn in situation inspired many community organisations to start support projects to help these most affected members of the community.
Before this pandemic, Mr Duggal served with the emergency services during Victorian bushfires in December and January that had caused massive devastation across the state.
Mr Duggal shared with SBS Punjabi, ‘I was one of the first transponders to get a permit and managed in distributing over six tons of groceries to the affected community’.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses shut resulting in loss of jobs. Those affected included international students and other CALD community members. This sudden turn in situation inspired Mr Duggal to start another support project to help these most affected members of the community.
‘Many individuals approached me to start a drive Victoria-wide. We delivered over a ton of groceries door to door to many remote areas of the state’.
Some individuals who approached the Consulate General of India’s office for help were directed over to Mr Duggal’s mission to get some help.
"Mr Raj Kumar from Consulate Office personally went to many places with us and delivered the groceries", said Mr Duggal.
The second wave of Coronavirus in Victoria that started during June/July had further shattered the already crumbling state of the economy. Many community members who were hoping for a revival got affected badly.
‘During this second wave of Covid-19, our mission arranged and distributed further 3 tones of groceries to the badly affected community members and this support is still ongoing’, told Mr Duggal.
Many organisations like Mental Health Organisation had started a meal drive for the Covid-19 victims. Mr Duggal who is a multicultural ambassador of this organisation joined hands with these organisations who provided 800 to 900 meals per day.
‘We were issued special permits to travel in specified areas in Victoria to carry over our support projects’.
Mr Duggal said he was devastated on witnessing the situation of some of the worst affected community members.
‘I got many messages from the community especially from the students saying that we are left with no money at all, we have groceries that would last for only two days, and some told me that we have only salt and water left with us to survive’.
Apart from a groceries drive, as gratitude, Mr Duggal’s mission is extending support to essential workers in the form of needs like toiletries, snacks, tea and coffee etc.
Mr Duggal is appealing to the community to come forward and help those in dire need. If someone doesn’t have enough time or required resources then he should refer the needy to Mr Duggal who has a team of over 20-25 volunteers with him.
Similar to Mr Duggal’s Nirankari mission, another organisation ‘Indian Support Centre’ in Sydney is also working on the same lines and providing necessary help & support those affected by Covid-19.
Mr Suba Rao Varigonda from ISC in a message to SBS Punjabi shared that their organisation invites people from CALD communities to come to their office in 2 Lane Street Wentworthville and take free groceries on first come first serve basis till the stock lasts. Following Covid-19 health guidelines, registrations are required.
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.
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