During the first COVID-19 lockdown, 42-year-old Ramu Dosapati was buying groceries when he came across his security guard, who was buying around 20 kg of chicken for stranded migrant labourers.
Inspired by her drive to help people despite limited resources, Ramu decided to do his own bit by setting up a 24×7 ‘Rice ATM ’to supply rations to the needy in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Ramu, who works as an HR executive, went on to spend Rs 1.5 lakh from his savings account and Rs 6 lakh from his provident fund to kickstart the ATM. He even sold his ancestral property to secure another Rs 40 lakh.
The initiative began with providing meals and medicines to migrant workers and branched out to providing groceries such as oil, dal, tamarind and chilli powder to anybody without a job during the lockdown period, such as taxi drivers, dhobis and domestic helps. Around 160 people are said to have benefitted from the initiative everyday.
Earlier this year, Ramu also began Project Prisha (meaning god’s gift, he says), to provide resources to people to help them earn a sustainable livelihood. The initiative, which has helped as many as 700 families, involves providing training for sewing clothes, setting up tiffin centers, iron shops and other small, self-reliant businesses.
Watch how this man’s compassion helped him create impact in his city:
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