Learning by Locals

COVID-19 Our Activites

At Learning by Locals, we try to seize opportunities to learn and offer support in any way we can. The lockdown gave us the opportunity to grow while helping our community. After the lockdown was imposed, we started our online classes from the very next day. This was the very first thing we decided to do as we didn’t want our students’ learning to stop. We first started with online English language classes. We currently have more than 120 students attending our mental and emotional well being, English language, theatre, script writing, guitar, dance and computer classes, which we have all moved online.We soon realised that the lockdown brought with it a lot of difficulty for the labourers.When we learnt that the government wasn’t able to provide three whole meals for them, we started serving breakfast to the labourers who needed it the most.
Our team swung into action and provided not only fresh meals but also rations and essential supplies. We distributed 3200 breakfast meals, 4900 facemasks, dry ration (rice, wheat flour, lentils, spices, and cooking oil) to 640 families (2594 people). This proved to be a deeply moving and insightful experience for our team. It was not easy, as each of the team members had different roles to perform. From data entry, verification of recipients and their requirements, distribution and following up post distribution. However, the most special aspect for all of us was all the gratitude that we received. “When I saw people before, when they needed food and then later after they had received it, was a very different experience. When I heard them say ‘thank you’, it was a very special feeling for me” said Pushpa Gupta, a student and LBL team member.
“My experience of food distribution was amazing. The adorable smiles of the people who took the food, gave me a satisfying happiness. I am grateful for this opportunity” said Sukhmani, a teacher and LBL team member.
“I understood the real meaning of social work when I distributed food to people who actually needed it. Their blessings showed in the smiles on their faces. This was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life” said Amisha, another LBL team member and teacher. Most of all, it gave our team members opportunities to learn and grow.“Because of this work, people in my colony now know me and I have built good relations with them. Initially, we had trouble connecting with the workers, however gradually our team’s support helped to build our enthusiasm. This was my first time ever doing work like this and I know that doing more work like this in the future will give me a lot of happiness” said Akshay, one of the members of our team and teacher. The interactions filled us with a sense of pride and fulfillment. It spurred us to adapt and help our community in any way we could.This work has also fueled some larger ideas of ways in which we can support and help the community develop further.

Now, in addition to food supplies, we have started a new project under which we distribute sanitary napkins and spread awareness about menstrual hygiene. In addition, we have also created a jobs and internships program to ensure that our students get the necessary exposure at a crucial time like this.
These past few months have helped Learning by Locals reach out to those in need and discover a new found sense of purpose, outside the classrooms.

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