Mumbai-based School Student Karan Taparia’s ‘Kushal Bharat’ Initiative Is Empowering Pandemic-Stricken Migrant Workers To Start Their Own Businesses
THE EDTALK | MUMBAI, INDIA
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Countries across the globe have been overwhelmed by an unending stream of unprecedented social, economic and humanitarian problems. In March 2020, hoping to counteract the crippling effects of this pandemic, India announced a nation-wide lockdown; however, things took a sharp turn for the migrant worker community. It was the people who relied on daily wages to survive that were most severely affected.
Joblessness and scarcity became the new standard for migrant daily-wage earners, and many of them were left with only a few days’ worth of savings to carry them through the economic inactivity of a lockdown. This drove many workers into homelessness, and the lack of essential resources forced many more into relocating. But with the absence of long-distance transportation services, the only option left for these individuals was to travel back to their villages on foot for several days.
Noticing the plight of millions of migrant workers, Mumbai-based school student, Karan Taparia, started the initiative Kushal Bharat – a non-profit platform that supports pandemic-affected families, empowering them to start their own small business ventures.
Kushal Bharat’s team started a collective crowd-funding campaign and has been able to provide seed funding and a support ecosystem for migrant workers, allowing them to rekindle their livelihoods. With the goal of providing a framework for self-sustenance, this remarkable platform has aided many migrant workers to start micro-businesses like Stitching, Dairy farming, Food Stalls etc. Till September, Kushal Bharat has successfully impacted over 200 lives by helping 40+ workers get back on their feet, during these uncertain times.
Karan presently studies in Class 12 at the Bombay International School. Just before the lockdown, Karan was associated with the Marigold NGO in Mumbai, where he taught students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Due to the lockdown, many of his young students were affected as their parents lost their jobs and had nowhere to go.
Looking back at the tough situation, Karan Taparia, Founder of Kushal Bharat, says, “Over the years, seeing my family actively involved in several social initiatives has taught me the value in giving back to society. The global pandemic has had paralyzing effects on various spheres, but witnessing the tragic effects of the lockdown on one of my students, at an NGO where I used to teach, struck a chord and inspired me to make a difference in any way possible; that’s when I started Kushal Bharat. At present, it is still a very small initiative, but I believe that small changes and contributions can collectively make a larger impact.”
About Kushal Bharat
The last few months have unleashed an adversity upon mankind which has few parallels in our collective memories. While the pandemic has disproportionally impacted certain sections of society, it is the presence of foundations like ‘Kushal Bharat’ that bring a glimmer of hope during these difficult times.
In April 2020, Kushal Bharat embarked on a mission to make a small but meaningful impact in the lives of pandemic-stricken families and has been successful in rekindling their livelihoods.
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