In Mumbai, the Khula Aasman Club has been creating peace in its region since 2014, developing leadership skills in marginalized youth and children using play and the arts. While COVID-19 has presented new challenges for the club, the group has continued to have a great impact on its community. Recently, the group has been working in the Cheetah Camp, a local camp for migrant workers, where due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have lost their jobs and homes, and children have been deprived of their daily routines and spaces to play together.
“Overall it's a grim situation,” says Sarita Ganesh, a mentor for the Khula Aasman club. “The government has extended the lockdown every 15 days or so.”
To help those in need, the Khula Aasman club ran the community kitchen for the Cheetah Camp from March until May, bringing food and other basic necessities to approximately 600 families. The group provided 1,400 meals per day, as well as 2,000 masks to keep people safe during the pandemic. They also created a WhatsApp group to inquire about the well being of children at the camp and to share creative activities with the families.
Like most places, the COVID-19 situation is very up and down in India. “The situation is slightly better now, but you never know which way the wind will blow,” says Sarita. For this reason, the Khula Aasman Club is continuing their efforts, planning to distribute notebooks and textbooks to children so that parents can send their children to school. The club also plans to provide a library to children so they can borrow books and read at home.
“We are taking small steps now,” says Sarita.”Right now we’re in a state of gauging and replanning.”
Please support the Khula Aasman Club as they plan their efforts to help local families in their Mumbai community. Learn more and donate here.