India went into an unprecedented lockdown on March 25, 2020 to combat the COVID-19. Though, on one hand, it was touted as an unavoidable measure to curb the effect of pandemic, on the other hand it led to a vast scale of job loss and we saw an immense exodus of migrant labourers from the big cities. Along with the government-led measures, various NGOs, citizen groups and individuals came out to help fellow citizens in this period of crisis. URHope, an online portal was one such effort.
The idea of URHope germinated after some students and alumni of IIT Bombay along with their friends came together to build an online platform to simplify the access to various relief programs being run in the wake of Covid19. The team put together a database of the govt. initiated relief measures in the wake of Covid across the states and UTs till district level in the areas of food, shelter, health, e-pass etc. and a platform was envisioned and built to connect the help seekers with the help providers (Govt. initiatives/NGOs/groups/individuals) in various sectors, food being one of that.
After contributing immensely, URHope's original team dismantled. The three members, Priya Sharma (PhD scholar at IIT Bombay), Aashita Swamy (Mechatronics Engineering student at Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan) and Pravesh Mehta (pharmacy undergraduate at Dr. DY Patil IPSR Pune), though stayed behind to take the platform ahead under the leadership of Priya and joined hands with FoodBank. FoodBank was started originally in Bali, Indonesia by Max Bratsun to build a platform for all food related NGOs in Bali. Amritesh Srivastava (Software Engineer, Booking.com) had helped build the portal and after the platform reached maturity, he decided to launch it in India. He joined hands with URHope to merge the online platform of FoodBank with the team and network of URHope. This coming together of URHope and FoodBank to connect the help seekers with the help providers led to the formation of URHope-FoodBank in July 2020.
Given the vast network that Priya had already built through her other initiative, a migrant travel project "Mission Aahan Vaahan" (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/education-today/news/story/national-law-school-iit-bombay-join-hands-to-fly-migrants-homes-1683584-2020-05-30
) which assisted 1000s of migrants to reach back home safely, URHope-Foodbank started with collaborating with the organisations already involved in giving out ration kits across various cities.
We, at URHope-Foodbank invite you to be on board either as a volunteer (to help manage the portal, its social media or for resolving cases directly), as a food partner in providing ration kits to the ones in need or as a donor where you don't donate to us, but, pledge a ration kit and pay directly for the kit when the need arises.