Odia Girl Steps Out To Help Migrant Workers In Bengaluru During Coronavirus Lockdown

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Bhubaneswar: An Odia girl’s initiative has brought succor to migrant workers in the slums of Bengaluru at the time of lockdown.

Sahista Sultana, a techie in a Bengaluru based company, has taken upon herself to ensure that no family of Marathahalli area is deprived of ration due to the curbs on movement.

“Moved by the plight of the slum people, most of whom come from Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, I am distributing ration with the help of some local friends. We want to provide grocery items to them for an entire month,” said Sahista.

Sahista and her group strictly follow the lockdown norms even while contributing to the social cause. “We visit the slum area from Friday to Monday. We use masks and keep the ration kit in front of the doors of the houses. We also maintain the social distancing,” said Sahista.

Though fund for their efforts remains a constraint, they manage with contributions from different quarters. “People are contributing and my friends are also helping a lot,” said the young girl from Mahamadia Bazar in Cuttack.

“We are also helping a group of transgenders who have shifted to Munnekolala in Marathahalli after being driven away by the local people from the place where they were staying,” said Sahista.

After her graduation in engineering, Sahista joined a software company in Bengaluru. After saving some money, she left the job and returned to Cuttack to do social work.

“I had an inclination towards social work. I was inspired by my father who runs an NGO, ‘Envoy’.  I started working on child sexual abuse. But I found that the subject was not much talked about in Odisha and there was a need for creating awareness,” said Sahista.

She organised workshops on the issue in schools. Her mother also helped her in the awareness drive financed from her own saving.

“After all my savings were exhausted, I took up the present job so that I can fund my social service,” she said.

Sahista was conferred Young Achievers Award 2020 in Odisha on Women’s Day.

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