Pune: The migrant labour issue propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown has unfortunately escalated into one of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our times. Every day, hundreds of migrants are still walking thousands of kilometers in the scorching heat, to reach their homes while those left behind are battling hunger. Also Read - Centre Extends Lockdown Till May 31, Allows Inter-state Movement of Buses For Migrants | Key Points
Thankfully, good samaritans of our country are coming to their rescue and one of them is the 30-year-old auto-rickshaw driver from Pune. In a noble gesture, Akshay Kothawale who had saved up Rs 2 lakh for his marriage, is now using the money to feed migrant labourers and those in distress on Pune streets.
Not only that, Kothawale is also helping senior citizens and pregnant women by offering them free rides to clinics in his vehicle.
Every day, he prepares food for nearly 400 people, with the help of his friends, and then goes around the city streets to distribute meals among migrant labourers and poor people.
Kothawale said he feels happy to be able to help others in this time of crisis.
“While working as an auto-rickshaw driver, I could save around Rs 2,00,000 for my marriage, which was scheduled on May 25. But, due to the lockdown extension, we thought it would not be appropriate to have the ceremony now, so my fiancee and I decided to postpone the marriage,” he said.
“I saw several people on roads who could not even afford to have one meal and were struggling to survive. I and some of my friends then thought of doing something to help the daily wagers and needy people,” he added.
Kothawale and his friends intend to continue providing food to people at least until May 31 with the help of the funds they have. They also distribute masks and sanitisers to roadside dwellers in addition to putting up a loudspeaker on his auto- rickshaw to create awareness about Covid-19.
Hats off to his compassion!