Humanity at the height of the COVID-19

Rohit Lingam, James Swamy, Ram Lingam, Kartik Raj and Rajnesh Lingam with food packs in front of Korovou HART. Picture: SUPPLIED

AS I pen this article, the words of Germany Kant, “reach out and help others. If you have the power to
make someone happy, do it. Be a vessel, be the change, be the difference, or be the inspiration.

Shine your light as an example.

The world needs more of that”, motivated my group and me, as we ventured into distribution of food packs to serve needy and desperate families at the height of COVID-19.

My friend and the director of Just a Drop Foundation Mohenesh Singh reminded me that “feeding the hungry
is the best of all charities.  A little help with a little smile gives meaning to human life”.

Mohinesh and his group have been assisting families living in Nadi with groceries.

According to Mohinesh, he was deeply saddened by the plight faced by families around Nadi since jobs were linked
to the tourism industry.

He added that the loss of employment in a family put lots of pressure and stress on the family, and he encouraged
all Fijians to help in any possible way, as every small help made a difference to some one’s life.

Apart from Mohinesh, Allen Lockington and his right hand Navnit Ram have been waking up early in the morning
to prepare food packs to be distributed around Lautoka and Nadi.

“Unkol” Allen and his team have been generous enough since last year, and I accord appreciation to our down-to earth and cool gentleman from the Sugar City.

FRIEND Fiji and Sashi Kiran have been in the limelight.

FRIEND Fiji continues to shine.

It has assisted thousands of needy and desperate families in the west.

Recently, the Australian government, through the Australian High Commissioner John Feakes, provided a grant of $770k that would help provide medicine, food and other forms of aid.

This shows the faith that the Australian government has in this NGO which is taking strides and reaching out to the
needy.

FRIEND Fiji’s systems and processes are transparent and accountable.

Hence, funds are pouring in towards relief assistance.

Sashi Kiran and her team need accolades for the hard work that they have put in.

Other faith groups such as Sangam Fiji, Fiji Muslim League and various Ramayan mandali groups have assisted families, and I thank them for their generosity.

Fijians are also commended for helping out families during these trying times.

My team from Balgovind Rd in Nadawa, Nasinu consisting of Ram Lingam, James Swamy, Rohit Lingam, Kartik Raj and I, targeted the needy and desperate families living in Nadawa, Nadera (Nasilivata and Raiba Circle), Narere (River Rd and Navosai), Cunningham, Caubati (Mama’s Place), Khalsa Rd, Nasole Hart, Daya St and Wailea settlement (Vatuwaqa), Muanikoso, Nakasi, Nasole, Valelevu and Korovou HARTS, Namadi Heights, Omkar and Tuirara.

We were touched by the response we received from the recipients who received the rations.

They were so grateful that their eyes swelled with tears, and we were emotional seeing the emotions on their faces.

During phase one, we distributed food packs to 46 families.

During phase two, we distributed 51 packs.

During phase three, 26 families benefitted.

In our final phase of distribution, 70 packs were made and distributed.

At this juncture, I commend Anginesh Prasad (operations manager: P. Meghji Group of Companies), Fojina
Shainaaz (manager- Fresh Choice Supermarket in Garden City, Raiwai) and the staff members of Fresh Choice Supermarket for the packing and distribution of the food packs.

Our food ration was valued at around $50 per pack, and it consisted of 12 items- 10kg rice, 5kg flour, 2kg sugar, one
packet tea leaves, one pack Maggi noodles, 2kg potatoes, 1kg onion, one pack garlic, one bottle soya bean oil, three
tins tuna, two packet biscuit and 1kg dhal – enough to last at least two weeks.

In total, through the generosity of donors, 193 families were assisted which amounted to about $9650.

My team is grateful to our family members and friends who sent money from overseas and our local donors who assisted us.

The mode of social media (messenger and viber) mad this possible, as I was able to reach my friends, family
members and former students with an appeal.

The overseas donors include: New Zealand- Sanjay Narayan, Rajesh Kuldip, Bhakti Keerat Satsang Ramayan
Mandali, Dr Rohit Santram, Adhiswar and Sonia Lingam, Ronesh Ram, Sandeep Prasad, Alvin Maharaj, Alpana
Goundar, Virendra Prasad, Pundit Ravi, Suman and Chaya Maharaj, Vicky Shandil, Avinesh and Devina Achari,
Anand Gounden and Dinesh Naidu; Australia – Vijay Maharaj, Radhika Dutt, Swartika Sharma, Nash and Vishalni
Ram and Kriti Morris; US – Amish and Sheron Prasad and Shaleeni Prasad; and Canada – Sabdhya, Shalen and Parma Nand, while our local donors include Jitesh Patel, Vijay Naidu, Jagdish and Premila Prasad, Sanjeshni Gounden, Mr and Mrs Singh (Vatuwaqa), Kunal and Neha Lal, Ritesh Pratap, school heads Ajeshni Lal, Praveen Chand and Shoblyn Ezeh, Alvin Sharma, Azel and Payal Raj, Aviney Prasad, Dr Akhila Nand Sharma, Avikash and Amlean Pillay, Vinal Prasad, Roop and Susheela Chand, Jatish Kumar, Hari Datt Sharma, FNU lecturers Ravinesh Rohit Prasad and Sakul Kundra, DJ Shiv Maharaj, Dr Ashneel Singh, Rajnesh Prasad (Raj- Fresco Rentals), Abdul Riyaz Ali, Andrew Kumar, Ajay Singh, Mr Dickson, Ashmir Ali and Anginesh Prasad.

I salute my former students from Savusavu Secondary School here and overseas – Dr Shivneel Goundar, Alvin Prasad (in memory of Kalap Nath- Caubati, Chandrika Prasad – Namara, Labasa and Ganesh Prasad- Daku, Savusavu), Alveen Kumar, Aachal Nand and Yogesh Lal, Sulanjani Prasad, Himesh Chhaganlal (NZ), Elveena Rama (Australia), Raymond Kant (NZ) and Priyanka Chand, Priya Puja Prasad, Alicia Dayal and Dr Atinesh, Laukesh Ram, Deepika Kumar, Aman Prasad, Avishek Chand, Anshu Darshana (Cook Islands), Dr Kartika Goundar, Jesh Kumar, Sumeet Narayan (dad Suresh Narayan and mom Tarun Narayan- Savusavu Bay Lodge), Sonika Sharma, Dr Vebzureen Kamal, Arvin Singh (NZ), Rohit ‘Babeto’ Kumar (NZ), Avikash Ram, Mohammed Riyaz Ali, Vinal Prasad, Jiten Sharma and family and Shabina Khan for their tremendous, help and assistance.
Without the above donors, it would not have been possible for us to reach the 193 families that we helped.

One thing that has stood out during these trying times includes the act of generosity that ordinary Fijians have shown.

The satisfaction one gains is beyond imagination.

The words and emotions coming from the recipients drive us to do more for those who are suffering and need assistance.

Trust me, our assistance will continue, as we will try our level best to reach more Fijians.

Once again, I thank all those NGOs, faith-based and religious groups, and individuals who have assisted a family in
need.

I have mentioned your names individually, but pleas accept my gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for the
good work that you have done.

I conclude with the words of Germany Kent, “today, somehow in some way, I will manage to help somebody who
doesn’t look or talk like me, someone who is in need and doesn’t care about the outer me, someone who is hopefully
able to recognise a sincere gesture of kindness and love”.

Be safe fellow Fijians!

 

  • RAJNESH LINGAM is a usual contributor to this newspaper. The views are his and not of this newspaper.

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