Mahita Nagaraj is helping senior citizens during the lockdown


Mahita Nagaraj is mobilising the community to aid senior citizens during the lockdown

The online community called Caremongers India already has 24,000 volunteers across the country

By Anesha George  April 17th, 2020

How far would you go to help a loved one in need? Bengaluru-based digital professional Mahita Nagaraj decided to go the extra mile; not for her kin but for all the helpless senior citizens affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Her online collective Caremongers India, mobilises volunteers from across the country to provide essentials to the elderly who were unable to venture out of their homes.

Mahita Nagaraj
Mahita Nagaraj started the online community Caremongers India

It all started with a UK-based friend requesting her to deliver medicines to parents who weren’t in a position to step out of their home. “I wondered how many others were stuck in their houses, unable to ask for help so I put up a post on Facebook volunteering to check up on ailing relatives,” recalls Nagaraj. On the first day itself she visited five homes and set up a Facebook group called Caremongers India, to rope in other volunteers. “Not only did requests pour in by the minute, the number of volunteers grew from 200 to a whopping 2,000 in just three days,” she adds.

The rules are simple: volunteers adhere by health guidelines, ensure minimal contact and are reimbursed only for the supplies they deliver. They do essential grocery-runs, pick up medicines and arrange transport for doctor-visits for senior citizens, the physically challenged, pregnant women or people with serious medical conditions. One can also register on their website to be assigned a volunteer who will check up on them on a weekly basis.

 

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Now she has a network of 24,000 volunteers with around 100 members in her core team as city and state coordinators to manage the melee of requests they get daily. She’s also started a helpline (+91 95911688860), where she gets up to 1,500 messages per day. “My biggest take away from this is the sheer number of people willing to help others in distress,” says Nagaraj. “We’ve had volunteers travel 15-20 kilometers within their city to reach out to someone in need. And their numbers are only growing.”

Here’s the link to register on the Caremongers India website