Vedika from Chennai shares how Yein Udaan was ready even before the lockdown was announced

Updated: May 5, 2020

I have been blessed to be born and brought up in a comfortable and privileged family. I never knew about the other side of life apart from the one that I come from. When I was studying at St. Xaviers in Mumbai, I participated in a volunteer program. The program gave me my very first exposure in the development sector that consisted of low income and underprivileged sections of society. As part of the program, I taught to a bunch of girls, aged 8 to 12, who were forced to scale fish at the docks and be the breadwinners of their families. The experience really touched my heart, and I decided to work for the community.

Image: Vedika Agarwal
Image: Vedika Agarwal

I am Vedika Agarwal from Chennai, India, and I have founded a non-profit called Yein Udaan’ (My Takeoff) in the year 2017.

At Yein Udaan, we focus on children, women, and youth of low-income communities and provide them access to learning opportunities. Programs such as English Language, Digital Literacy, Value Education, Sex Education, and extra-curricular opportunities, such as Kathak dance, Guitar lessons, and Art are a part of the non-profit. Through the learning-based programs, we work towards providing a sustainable impact on the families.

Before the lockdown was announced, our leadership team anticipated a longer lockdown approaching. We started mobilizing our network and resources rapidly to ensure that we were prepared to serve our communities and our city, similar to the way we have contributed as always. We spoke to doctors and experts to understand about Infectious diseases and how we can educate our regional communities with all the right information. We wanted to curb the circulation of any fake news regarding this disease.

The Chennai Police is one of our official partners. We met with many officials to understand how we can serve the country during the lockdown. The minute lockdown was announced by our Prime Minister, we were ready.

One major concern was the sanitization supplies. Especially during this phase when one must maintain hygiene. We started distributing sanitization kits. To date, we have distributed over 2,000 sanitization kits. Moreover, we have partnered with a bunch of organizations, and with the help of the Chennai Police, we have reached over 23,000 people with ration kits.

Additionally, we understand that during the lockdown, a lot of kids would not have educational supplies or toys to keep them productive. Hence, to date, we have supplied games, toys, and educational supplies to over 200 families.

Chennai Police has played an active role. I am grateful for their dedication and hard work. From picking up kits from our vendors to dropping them off to our beneficiaries, identifying the vulnerable families, to going above and beyond to cater to the needs of the city, they are doing it all. It is only because of them that my team and I can stay at home and still regulate the smooth functioning of our daily agenda.

My team members have been working with the utmost passion every day. They are making sure that we help in the best way possible by maintaining a database of our beneficiaries, verifying their legitimacy, and checking if families meet the eligibility, which is non-ration cardholders or families who have ration cards of other areas and cannot access any kind of government relief.

My day starts with phone calls, including some distress calls. Somedays, it is emotionally and psychologically draining. But by the end of the day, when we hear success stories of supplies deliveries, and the blessings people are showering upon us, we know that we are on the right path and that we can not stop.

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Vedika and the entire team of Yein Udaan for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

If you know someone who is working for others, please share the story

241 views0 comments