Living in Mumbai means dealing with the heavy rains and not having an umbrella will only make things worse for you. Even if your home and workplace is at a walking distance, these rains have the capability to drench you from head to toe and you’ll probably sneeze in your office the next day.
Vimal Cherangattu, a 28-year-old Mumbai-based IT professional was struck in a traffic jam on July 15th when a small girl carrying a child by one hand and selling roses on the other approached him at the Mith Chowki signal in Malad. She persuaded him to buy the roses while he was busy on his phone. Handing over the 10 rupee note, he found that she wanted something else than the money she received.
Aiming at his umbrella, the little girl hesitantly told Vimal, “Chhata Chahiye.”
He realized that the baby and the little girl were shivering due to cold because of the continuous rains, and he gave away his umbrella in the spur of the moment.
Speaking to The Better India, Vimal said, “Most people at a signal may ask you for food, money, but an umbrella was certainly an unusual request. It hit me like a ton of bricks how an umbrella was a luxury to the many underprivileged pavement-dwelling families and especially their children.”
After the rickshaw moved, Vimal couldn’t forget the girl and her baby’s face. Thinking of how many people were going through the same situation and trying to survive without an umbrella, he made a WhatsApp group with his friends telling them that he wanted to promote this cause.
He started by making a simple post using powerpoint asking people to donate their umbrellas. Little did they know that the post will go viral and he’ll start getting calls from all over Mumbai, across the state and even the country.
They had a target of collecting 100 umbrellas and Rs. 10,000 which crossed within the span of a day! With people sending their umbrellas to his office and some of them even decided to drop by to contribute in terms of cash.
“In a matter of ten days, we have over 700 crowdsourced umbrellas and Rs 40,000 in cash to arrange for more. We have also struck a deal with a local umbrella manufacturer in Malad who is giving us umbrellas at Rs 80 a piece,” he said to the media portal.
“I am moved by the support people showed. Even celebrities like Vir Das, Vishal Dadlani and Milind Deora have given the cause a shoutout,” he added.
The first umbrella distribution drive is on the 29th of July’2018. Vimal and his friends have reached out to the volunteers and have divided the city into clusters, a Navi Mumbai team, a Western Express Highway Bandra to Dahisar team, South Bombay team, Link road and SV road teams etc, which will cover different spots of the city and distribute these umbrellas among underprivileged kids and their families.
If you’re in Mumbai, be a part of this inspiring initiative and help the ones in need. And not only that, wherever you live, doesn’t matter in which corner of the world, help the ones in need. We all get things so easily that we don’t realize their importance so often and then there are some who don’t have it at all. If we can’t start up something like this, we can at least be a part of it.
To help the cause, please send your umbrellas or drop them at the below address:
101, 1st floor,
Goregaon East, Mumbai 400063
If you aren’t in Mumbai and still wish to help for the cause, get in touch with Vimal Cherangattu at email@example.com or call him at +91 98706 81380.