The nationwide lockdown has brought untold hardships on the lives of millions of people in India. The people who have been hit the most are the poor and the daily wage earners. Despite efforts by the government through relief packages, distribution of ration, still a lot appears to be done, still many more need to be reached and many more need to be fed, as pictures of poor, homeless people collecting spilled milk and ration from the ground do the rounds of the social media.
Notable philanthropist and social activist Pandit Vishal Dutt has offered a noble idea to alleviate the sufferings of the poor during this period. His idea has been doing the rounds among his friends, fellow workers, NGOs, and many social organisations that are combining their efforts to help the poor.
Pandit Vishal Dutt introduced what he calls “Fast for a Day” plan. “About 20% of India’s populace lives below the poverty line. The remaining 80% and especially those privileged in the society can fast for a day, skip a meal or two during the day and offer that food, or money they save from it to the poor. This way the society can execute their responsibility to the poor and help them in these testing times,” said Pandit Vishal Dutt.
Notable minds in the past had similarly offered this approach to deal with challenges faced during their time. Former Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri had similarly suggested fasting for a day in a week during the food crisis. He had started this with his own family and presented an example.
With people accepting the “clap from the balcony” and “light a torch, a diya” campaigns during the lockdown, the “Fast for a Day” is likely to contribute more in reaching out to the poor and expressing society’s solidarity towards those left without food and essential supplies during this period. The “Fast for a Day” challenge is gaining popularity and doing the round on many social media circles with many followers accepting the challenge and willing to bring a change in the lives of the poor through #FastforaDay (Hashtag for a day challenge).