In these dark and depressing times, when we are bombarded with news of death, hardship and mismanagement of scarce resources, it is truly heartening to see that individuals and small organisations are stepping up and reaching out to those most in need of support. Social distancing measures and shutdown of private and public institutions to stop the spread of coronavirus have left day labourers, rickshaw pullers and domestic help, among other vulnerable communities, in the lurch, with no savings to fall back on. For most people in the margins, who live in overcrowded slums or on the streets, social distancing and purchase of masks and sanitisers are not in the realm of possibilities. They are also in need of basic necessities like food and medicine. It is, therefore, commendable that those who do have the means are doing their part, in whatever limited capacity they can, to ease the sufferings of those less fortunate, be it collecting and coordinating donations for various marginalised communities, buying groceries for rickshaw pullers or providing masks, soaps and sanitisers for free. While some are doing the charity work through their voluntary or non-profit organisations, others are reaching out individually.
It is in these crucial moments of crisis that our humanity is tested. It is easy enough to recoil into our privileged cocoons and wait for the storm to pass, or worse still, to take advantage of the crisis and make profit off of people's miseries. But we are assured, through these small acts of compassion, that humanity is not dead yet and that solidarity and love can, and will, overpower selfishness and greed. We applaud those who have taken these initiatives and call upon others to do the same—let's each do our part to share the burden of low-income and marginalised groups.