The day that the lockdown was announced in Mumbai, I was scrolling through my social media platforms when I came across Project Mumbai’s post. It was an appeal for volunteers. Instantly, I knew I had to join them. There is no shortage of people who need help and often, it is not possible to extend that help. Project Mumbai gave me an opportunity and made it possible for me to help the many people who need it, like senior citizens who often live alone and cannot venture out due to the risk. Thus, I approached Project Mumbai as soon as I saw their post. Within a few days, I was added to the Andheri group, for that’s where I live, and the operation was set up.
My name is Aditi Mehta and other than being a freelance consultant on food and hospitality, I have been a volunteer at Project Mumbai for a month and a half. I spend my days of lockdown organizing and delivering vegetables to senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Interacting with people, has been such a wonderful experience! On one occasion, a daughter living in Canada ordered essentials for her parents who lived in Mumbai, through Project Mumbai. I was carrying out the order. Unfortunately, I could not find their building and spent 40 minutes walking around aimlessly. I tried calling the daughter, but due to the difference, it was night in Canada and she was not responding. Watchmen and others in the area proved to be unhelpful as well. When I finally located the building and hence the couple, the mother was extremely surprised to receive groceries. It turned out that she had no idea that her daughter had coordinated this effort even when she was miles apart – she was delighted and touched.
Seeing people’s reactions and their gratitude generates an indescribable feeling. It makes such experiences, travelling to multiples shops to complete one order and taking the risk of stepping out, quite worthwhile. Often, people shower me with blessings and I have been given the titles of ‘second daughter’ and ‘an angel’ as well. This entire experience has been extremely gratifying. Some people who I helped via Project Mumbai now feel comfortable enough to reach out to me personally, instead of reaching out through Project Mumbai and this warms my heart.
I am extremely privileged that I have had the chance to volunteer and be a small part of the large team at Project Mumbai. Being able to make a difference, even on a minute scale, makes me feel very lucky. Every interaction, incident and experience, be it being lost for 40 minutes or being called someone’s second daughter makes me feel, in simple words, excellent!