Jhilimili, a social organisation formed by students from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka (DU), aims to support underprivileged children. This Ramadan, they have collaborated with Madchef, a fast food restaurant, and Give Bangladesh, an initiative under Social Work Platform Trust, to arrange iftar packets for those in need.
The ongoing event, "Shat Takar Khabar" (Food for 60 Taka), has provided iftar to over 11,000 people so far, including slum dwellers, orphans, marginalised children, madrassa students, and workers from different areas of the country. "We intend to distribute around 15,000 iftar packets before Eid," shared Asif Mahmud, a volunteer at Jhilimili. The organisation is currently raising funds for the campaign through virtual mediums. The catering and distributions are handled by Madchef and Give Bangladesh respectively. "The main idea of the event is to provide iftar at a very low cost. Since the amount is quite affordable, we are trying to send a message that no contribution is small," added Ipshita Maliat Rahman, another volunteer.
During the lockdown last year, Jhilimili distributed food among 650 underprivileged people. With a sudden increase in the number of COVID cases, many underprivileged families have lost their sources of income. "We wanted to support these communities during the month of Ramadan. Through our collective efforts, we have reached out to 400 people on a daily basis, making this event a great success," Asif asserted. In order to ensure social distancing during the distributions, the volunteers had marked distinctive spots for each individual, maintaining the safety protocols.
They asked for donations through social media. "We have been posting regularly about our activities and goals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Our social media team did a commendable job, considering that they had to attend exams and classes simultaneously," Ipshita said. The members also reached out to people individually gathering a positive response.
Jhilimili's future plans include another collaboration with Give Bangladesh through which they will be providing year-long meals to 150 underprivileged children from 4 shelter homes in Dhaka. By donating BDT 2,500, a person can sponsor a child's food for a month.
The author is a freelance journalist who likes reading, planning, and scribbling. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.