In the past month, Bengalureans have shown their humanitarian side by coming forward to help local vendors and farmers.
Joining the brigade is the residential community of Adarsh Palm Retreat Villas, Sarjapur, which has not only helped over 15 farmers sell their produce but has also donated vegetables, fruits and rations to the needy.
What started as a drive to procure fresh vegetables and fruits soon grew into a donation campaign. The ‘Save the Farmer’ initiative by the community of 2,500 residents was kickstarted by a group of volunteers in the first week of April. Core members of the group – Sharmila Martis, Surekha Podduturi, Padma Kuchibhotla, Sadhana Sureka and Manjusha Santha – began the campaign with the support of their inhouse management committee and several other residents.
Sharmila said they helped farmers in distress by creating an avenue for purchasing and selling fresh produce at fair prices. Till date, the community has managed to purchase a whopping 20 tonnes of fruits, vegetables and rations, of which 10 tonnes (1.2 tonnes of fruits and 8.8 of greens) were donated to people in need.
The cost of total purchase is approximately Rs 4-4.5 lakh.
Sharmila added they got in touch with some farmers through appeals on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
The community also managed to have in place a systematic door-to-door, zero-contact delivery system. “Farmers had to unload the produce and leave and our volunteers delivered it to residents. Even the doorbell wasn’t used; all communication was done through WhatsApp,” said Sharmila.
Entire process using mobile apps and online tools
She added the entire process of buying, paying, tracking and donating was executed virtually by leveraging tools like WhatsApp, Google sheets and e-wallets and integrating them with MyBy, a mobile app that helps small businesses and large residential complexes in the procurement process while ensuring digital payment.