Mallika Kumar (17 years) and Nithya Kumar (15 years) from Withington girl’s school, Manchester narrate to Rahul Laud from Asian Lite their plan to provide relief to children in India
A first-person account and sharing by Manchester located students – Mallika Kumar and Nithya – the dynamic sister duo children of Ravi Kumar and Padma is inspiring and encouraging. In a warm tete a tete they say,‘’ In the first phase we aim to collect £10,000 to support the activities of the COVID ChildCare Taskforce. “ COVID ChildCare TaskForce is on an urgent mission to create awareness and provide resources to 10,000 families within 2 months in and around Chennai, the sisters explain. ‘’We are working with over 200 volunteers from Chennai Tricolor Initiative and their task forces to ensure that we are able to assist children and their families in this time of need,’ they add.
As regards the current donation drive, the girls modestly stated, ‘’Funds will be donated to Chennai Tricolor Initiative’s COVID ChildCare Taskforce. The TaskForce aims to provide children and families affected by COVID the resources they require to deal with the pandemic (eg: masks, sanitisers, activity kits to help the child’s mental well-being, etc).
Their fundraiser as on date has raised over £1700. ‘’We hope to reach our goal of £10,000 within the next 2 months to provide for these families, ‘’ the sisters assured. The link to their fund raiser is: COVID CHILDCARE TASKFORCE FUNDRAISER. More information about the fundraiser is also on this page, including a link to the TaskForce website.
Asked as to how did this thought and idea arise? Mallika and Nithya explained, ‘’Being of Indian origin we were devastated by the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 on people, specifically children. We’ve experienced a situation within our own family, where we struggled to find hospital beds. We ended up searching the entire city for a hospital bed and were denied access to healthcare by all of them. We are a well-connected family, and despite this, we struggled. That made us think about the millions of people who do not have as many connections, and what their plight is.” Contemplating further they added, ‘’If this is the situation for adults, for whom facilities are inadequately developed over the past year then imagine the case for children. Until now, children were seen as immune to the virus, which led to the system being underprepared in handling this crisis. ‘’
Both the sisters have been engaged actively to serve Indian community. ‘’A few years ago, when we lived in India, we set up an organisation called KidsForKids to enable children to help other children in need,‘’ they pointed out. Sharing details of their work, they said, ‘’One of the projects we worked on involved us collecting and selling second hand books. We used the profits generated to fund the PE kits for an underprivileged school. Now that we are remote, we thought the best way to help is to raise funds.’’
The global pandemic has aroused humanitarian values among young and old. Indians deserve help and lives need to be saved is an indisputable fact. Sisters Mallika and Nithya deserve appreciation, support and encouragement.