What a volunteer group called ProNamo did as part of its welfare measures during lockdown.
At first, we were a small group of colleagues who shared a similar mindset. We were professionally accomplished — MBAs, CAs, doctors, scientists and IIM-grads — however; we realised that being professionally accomplished is not enough; we have a responsibility towards development of our nation.
Come 2019, we had to do something for Modiji — he was the only beacon of hope for the country. The last five years had shown the country what an honest, transparent government looked like.
For General Election (GE) 2019, we started with door-to-door campaigning, creating and sharing pamphlets in public places. We had a Facebook page where we uploaded our event photos describing what we were doing.
Every weekend, we reached out to over 1,000 people by conducting a major event at a public park with about 20-30 volunteers.
The local media picked up our efforts and soon we had over 1,000 volunteers on WhatsApp contributing in their respective social circles — both online and offline.
A 5,000-likes FB page helped us bring more people. We had about 200 volunteers on the ground working at multiple locations.
As the election season was nearing, we selected two major constituencies in Hyderabad – Secunderabad and Malkajgiri. MP hopefuls for these two constituencies — Sri Kishan Reddy and Sri Ramchandar Rao were supportive to us in our efforts and made public appearances at our events, which boosted the morale of our participants.
When GE-2019 voting day finally came on April 11, we visited all the places we campaigned in earlier and urged people to vote.
GE-2019 Results day was one of the most memorable days of our campaign. Secunderabad constituency was won by Shri Kishan Reddy and BJP won with 303 seats and a thumping majority.
Post GE-2019, we redirected our passion into a new direction. We identified three motifs, which we were passionate about. Seva (Service), Dharm (Righteousness) and Rashtraprem (Nationalism).
Our new logo reflected the new direction we had taken.
Since June 2019, we conducted at least three activities every month as a service to the society.
These activities include regular Annadaan, tree plantations, distribution of school bags, books and shoes to the under privileged, sanskar classes for slum kids and medical camps. We would have touched more than 50,000 lives through our activities.
All our activities till date have been funded by like-minded individuals from within the group who saw our activities on Ffacebook (facebook.com/pronamo) and got inspired. Each new event has 2-3 new faces and we feel proud to be contributing to society in our own way.
COVID-19 - Activities
Amidst the ongoing lockdown, most of us could afford not to go to work. But for some, they literally could not afford to skip work.
The ones worst affected by the lockdown were migrant labourers and daily wage earners. For them, work is a daily necessity to take care of their basic needs.
So two days into the lockdown, ProNamo was on the ground reaching out to migrant labourers/daily wage earners without PDS cards.
We regularly received requests for daily essentials through Twitter and WhatsApp and our volunteers at multiple locations across the city reached out to the needy.
We distributed grocery packages with rice, dal, oil and basic necessities.
The funds for these Covid-19 grocery distributions came from within the group since most of us are working professionals.
We generated over Rs 2 lakh this way and 50 of our on-ground volunteers reached out to more than 15,000 daily wage earners across 20-25 locations in Hyderabad.
To carry out distribution of essentials safely without being penalised for breaking the lockdown rules, we integrated the local police officers and civic officials during our distribution.
Apart from providing aid in the form of essentials, we educated the migrants and the poor on importance of basic hygiene, social distancing and usage of masks to fight this pandemic.
Our volunteers have been actively distributing masks, sanitisers and gloves to all the front line GHMC workers, Police personnel, Gas agency and other essential service workers.
Apart from localised distribution, we handed over 10,000 masks to Sri Bandi Sanjay, State President and MP Telangana BJP.
ProNamo organized COVID-19 awareness FB Live programmes that reached over 12,000 people.
In the last fortnight, we have done FB live interactions with a reputed Pulmonologist from AIG, Neonatal specialists from Fernandez hospitals, Pediatrician from Rainbow hospitals, to address concerns regarding COVID-19.
While helping the needy, we have ensured adequate safety for our volunteers. Social distancing was maintained at all times. Constant hand sanitization and use of masks enabled the volunteers to keep themselves shielded.
The Road Ahead
We at ProNamo believe in the ideals of Seva (Service), Dharma (Righteous living) and Rashtra Prem (Patriotism). Our future activities will be based around these themes.
Our PM has ensured utmost transparency and stopped corruption in Social welfare schemes. Building awareness will make sure those in need avail themselves of it. We want to make every underprivileged citizen aware of the Central Government schemes so that he can benefit from them to enhance his living conditions.
ProNamo is currently operational in Hyderabad and Kamareddy districts of Telangana. We wish to spread our volunteer base across all the districts in the state. We eventually want to spread out to other cities and metros with the idea of service to the nation.