What started off as an attempt to provide for fourteen families in the Beleghata area of Kolkata has now grown into a volunteer network that has helped and supported more than seven hundred and fifty families in and around Kolkata city.
Volunteers, acting under the "Stronger Kolkata Initiative", have managed to provide essential rations, sanitary napkins, clothing and drinking water to those families affected either by Cyclone Amphan or Covid-19.
And behind the initiative are two law students, Ankit Pal (NUJS) and Sayan Bhattacharya (NALSAR).
Speaking with Bar & Bench, Ankit says that the first fourteen families had been "adopted" by the late Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer during his time at NUJS, Kolkata.
Since both, Ankit and Sayan have always been associated with the IDIA initiative (of which Prof. Basheer was the founder), they had initially decided to focus their efforts towards these families.
Realising that this would not be enough, they then reached outwards, ending up helping 175 families in Bhangor, 1,760 families in Sunderbans, as well as 380 families in North 24 Parganas.
Ankit says that one of the most challenging aspects has been to set up a, "proper beneficiary mapping of the people we were going to help."
They now intend to expand the relief network, and diversify towards, "community engagement and employment regeneration through contact and constructive collaboration with local authorities."
If you want to contribute to this initiative, refer to the details below.