Every year Delhi’s winter makes headlines for the terrible conditions people go through because of the temperature and the fog. Single-digit temperature makes people shiver even inside their houses. In such situations, some people sleep on the footpath of the capital region. Sometimes there are even cases of people dying of extreme cold. People include both adults and children.
Thankfully such issues are not entirely ignored by society, at least not by non-profit organisations working towards helping such underprivileged people. One such organisation is Hope Begins Foundation, distributing blankets to those spending nights on the streets.
An NGO that started by organising sports tournaments for differently-abled is now working on various other causes like feeding the underprivileged, supporting the education of poor children and providing financial help during medical emergencies. Like every year, this time, they also started donating warm clothes to the underprivileged right before the arrival of winter. Their volunteers are seen going to every corner of the city and identifying people who need help. Most of these people are very old who don’t have a house or a family.
Moreover, they can’t even do any work to earn money because of their age. They need help because they have more chances of falling sick due to the cold weather. Seeing such terrible conditions, the organisation decided to do their bit to help these people in need. They believe that we all have unused clothes at home which can be distributed to the needy. All we need is an intention to help.
Hope Begins Foundation has been doing such activities every winter during the last four years. They mostly do in Delhi NCR, but their volunteers are doing the same in other locations across the country. Even though many other such social organisations are doing such activities, that’s not enough considering the number of people who live and sleep on the footpath in India. Some people have been living on the footpath for generations together. These people lack the basic necessities like food, clothes and shelter. Food is something that most organisations are trying to take care of, but this issue of warm clothes for winter has not been given much attention.
“A good sleep at night is as important as food. We all know how winter feels like during December. Specially in places like Delhi people shiver even inside their homes. In such a climate it is not a joke to sleep outside without warm clothes. We were not surprised when people said they are thankful to us for giving them blankets because they needed it more than food.”- said one of the founders.
Talking about the foundation’s background, it was started in 2017 by Pranav Mishra, Shoaib Ali and Bitupan Baruah, who decided to do something for society. They initially started working as a society but later registered as a Section 8 company. It all began when they felt that the differently-abled people were among the most neglected section of society due to limitations in their physical abilities. Even though they had capabilities and talents, they were not getting any opportunity or platform to showcase their talents. Sports was one such segment with great potential to provide career opportunities to the differently-abled. Hope Begins Foundation realised this potential, and hence they started organising cricket tournaments for the differently-abled. With great success in organising tournaments on a grand level at various locations around Delhi NCR, their vision became broader, and they started focussing on other social issues like hunger, lack of education due to poverty and financial difficulties during medical emergencies.
The organisation plans to do such activities for the next three months along with their other social work. At the same time, they are trying to create awareness about how they can also come forward and do their bit. People need not just donate new blankets but can also donate old clothes instead of throwing them away. This is what they are trying to make people realise by examples