On 26th January, we reached another milestone in our work with NT-DNT communities where two NT-DNT groups (residing in and near Kolegaon, Dombivali East and Circus Ground, Ambernath West) were provided with big utensil sets, stove and stretcher – as part of Disaster Management Kits. This was followed by another such distribution on 1st April to a Vaghya Murali group. During the lockdown when we were working with them, it was observed that unlike other bastis, NT-DNT settlements do not have any resources with which they could have cooked and fed their people. While ration kits were useful to them, for such self-sufficient and proud communities, if they had the resources they could have carried out self-run community kitchens. Considering the lockdown and other regular disasters that befall them, Anubhuti has till date provided these ‘Disaster Kits’, to be available by use for almost 4000 families of various NT-DNT communities like Nathpanthi Davri Gosavi, Gadiya Lohar, Banjara, Mariyaiwale, Vaghya Murali, etc. residing in Kalyan to Badlapur region

“You have chosen the perfect Disaster Kit for these communities. They did a lot to serve their people last year in the lockdown – I have seen their efforts. Some of them ran community kitchens by hiring utensils, and after about a month when they asked the hiring cost – it came to over a lakh rupees! The people are hard-working and skilled but not educated, so they can be taken advantage of. This Kit will help them be self-sustaining.”

Hon. MLA Ganpat Gaikwad, Kalyan East constituency

In response, one of the chief guests at Ambernath Circus Ground – a corporator, declared that they would build the community kitchen to match these utensils. Attending senior police officials and other corporators (Nagarsevaks) too supported the sentiment. Guests at the distribution events included MLA Ganpat Gaikwad (Kalyan East constituency), Dhananjay Ubase (President, Bhatke Vimukt Hakk Parishad Maharashtra), Dilip Salunkhe (Treasurer, Bhatke Vimukt Hakk Parishad), Sakharam Dhumal (Sachiv, Bhatke Vimukt Hakk Parishad Maharashtra), Pratik Gosavi (Sachiv, Bhatke Vimukt Yuva Maharashtra) corporators Pradip Patil, Umesh Patil, Pankaj Patil; senior Police officers Sanjay Dhumal, Mr. Devre and others.

Along with providing utensils as part of Disaster Management Kits, Anubhuti also formed committees comprising members from the respective communities itself, who will be given the responsibility of taking care of the utensils and keeping its record.

This is another milestone – the first time that women including young women, single women etc. – are on any NT-DNT community committees in this region! This is a result of the regular trainings being conducted with them.

At Anubhuti we truly believe that being with NT-DNT communities in becoming self-sufficient is part of supporting their intellectual development, and we passionately strive to achieve that.