By Arré Bench May. 28, 2020
Drawing inspiration from organisations like Karwaan-E-Mohabbat and fellow actor Sonu Sood, Swara Bhaskar has ensured that stranded migrant workers got train tickets to head home. So far, Bhaskar’s initiative has helped around 1,350 workers safely get back to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Ever since the first nationwide lockdown was announced in the country in March with the hope to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a disturbing number of migrant crisis continue to make headlines. While most of us have the privilege of working from the comfort of our homes, lakhs of daily wage migrant labourers have been left stranded with no source of income to support their lives in big cities.
Privilege is exactly what made Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar acknowledge her own comfort and reach out to the distressed migrant workers wanting to go back home. The Veere Di Wedding actress who had travelled to Delhi from Mumbai last week, along with her team, set up a web form to collect the names of people wanting to go back home. Once the team was in contact with the people, Bhaskar worked in tandem with the Delhi government, following up with the officials to ensure that the migrant workers got their tickets to board the train. So far, Bhaskar’s initiative has helped around 1,350 workers to safely get back to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
— The Quint (@TheQuint) May 28, 2020
“At a time when lakhs of people are out on the streets, facing extreme hardship, I feel ashamed sitting at home.” Bhaskar said in an interview with Times Now, pointing at the “defects in our system”.
‘Pinched’ with own comfort, Swara Bhaskar decides to help migrant workers reach home
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) May 25, 2020
The desperation of migrants has led to loss of lives due to fatigue and hunger, while others have fallen victim to train and road accidents. Calling the migrant crisis the “most shameful incident of our times,” Bhaskar took the initiative to put her resources to use and help these stranded workers out.
Bhaskar also thanked AAP MLA Dilip Pandey for helping her out by making the entire ticketing procedure hassle-free. “I am so grateful to Dilip Pandey ji, his team, the Delhi Government and everyone working on the ground. They reaffirm my faith in our society,” the actress expressed her gratitude. While speaking to Times Now about the same, Pandey too was full of praises for Bhaskar’s approach.
Earlier this week, Bhaskar had also partnered with Action Shoes and arranged for footwear to be distributed to migrant workers.
I’m very grateful to @ActionShoes & #AthleoShoes who‘ve kindly contributed 500 pairs of shoes toward migrant relief efforts. These were distributed by on-ground @karwanemohabbat volunteers. Deep gratitude again to Vishesh Agrawal, SK Sharma & Shaival Sahay #notanad #notsponsored pic.twitter.com/GXQGuHBvCU
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) May 25, 2020
The actress has received quite some appreciation for providing a helping hand.
Lots of appreciation and ❤️ for @ReallySwara for helping people reach back home. Great effort by everybody involved
— Joy (@Joydas) May 24, 2020
Good humanitarian work. That's the need of the hour…salute…respect…and what not. Adorable Swara🙏🙏🙏
— sokhshamim (@sokhshamim) May 25, 2020
Bhaskar cited the efforts of organisations like Karwaan-E-Mohabbat, Khalsa Aid, Pushti Foundation, and that of fellow Bollywood actor Sonu Sood as her inspiration. While most of the celebrities have either opted to make hefty donations or participate in online concerts to raise funds, Sonu Sood went the extra mile by donating PPE kits, opening up his Mumbai hotel to accommodate medical staff and also fed migrant workers. The actor also arranged for buses to send workers back home by obtaining permission from both Maharashtra and Karnataka governments.
@SonuSood becomes the first Bollywood celeb who organized multiple transport buses for hundreds of migrants stuck in Mumbai amid nationwide lockdown to help them head home and unite with their families in this difficult hour of coronavirus. #IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/DzHfAgVSlW
— Pinkvilla (@pinkvilla) May 11, 2020
At the moment, the actor has also set up a toll free number to ease the conversation between the migrants and his team, in order to provide help in a more timely manner.
Like Bhaskar, perhaps Sood’s efforts will continue to be imitated by other Bollywood stars in an endeavour to provide a helping hand.