In this series, Chennaiyin FC aims to highlight the good work being done by all its stakeholders in supporting the community amidst the challenging COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
With the nationwide lockdown imminent in the last week of March, Sanandh Avinash and a few friends were proactive in realizing that many in their vicinity would not have the means to stock up on essential groceries. A resident of R.A. Puram and a die-hard Chennaiyin FC supporter, Sanandh and his friends from Bengaluru and Trivandrum decided to raise funds and help those in their respective local communities who would be hit the hardest in lockdown – domestic help, watchmen, drivers, and others providing services in the community.
“We realized that we wouldn’t run short of supplies due to our privilege. The ones who would be affected the most would be the underprivileged, domestic help, watchmen and the like. They would lose their steady source of income in the lockdown,” Sanandh said in a chat with the CFC website.
The endeavour for Sanandh and his friends was to raise funds, procure supplies from the same and deliver it to those in need before the start of the lockdown. From their respective locations, they raised a specific amount, went to nearby supermarkets, and bought groceries like rice, vegetables and other essentials that would last a few weeks.
Sanandh confessed that he was surprised with the reception he received from those in his apartment complex, friends, and extended family. Having set out with the objective of raising around Rs. 8,000, Sanandh ended up collecting Rs. 21,000. He supplied essentials to five families and transferred the remaining funds to his friend Jolly Johnson in Trivandrum, who is the Founder & Chief Executive Director of a non-governmental organization named Helping Hands Organization (H2O). They are a group that helps the underprivileged, educates orphaned children and also provides care to the elderly and differently-abled. Sanandh and his friends have been in constant contact with Jolly and other H2O officials in ensuring there is transparency in the usage of funds provided.
Sanandh and Jolly are among eight friends who carried out this initiative. The reason they kept the group small was to ensure transparency and ease in mobilizing the necessary efforts. It also had a positive impact; for when Sanandh shared a message regarding this initiative on a WhatsApp group including school friends, it led to many of them taking similar efforts of helping those in their local community.
Before concluding the chat, Sanandh mentioned that this was a short-term initiative, however they do have plans to continue raising funds if the lockdown extends further.
Everyone at Chennaiyin FC commends Sanandh Avinash’s and his friends efforts and appreciates the good deeds carried out by everyone during these challenging times we currently live in.