The Consulate of India on Wednesday, April 15, distributed pre-packed boxes of food and grocery items to more than 500 people - mostly on temporary visas and struggling financially - during the Alert Level 4 lockdown.
Announced by the High Commission of India, in Wellington, this initiative was taken up to help largely Indian nationals who were on different temporary visas - either students or workers or stranded tourists – and struggling financially during the four-week lockdown.
The High Commission of India announced this initiative via a Facebook post earlier last week asking Indian temporary visa holders experiencing financial distress to register themselves with the office of the Consulate of India, which further invited them to collect food in their given time-window.
Hon Consul of India Bhav Dhillon himself was present on occasion to ensure that strict adherence was maintained according to the government's social distancing rules, and contactless delivery, at the time of the food distribution.
"Our staff has contacted those who have pre-registered and pre-qualified and given separate time to come and pick up food boxes while adhering strict social distancing rules," Mr Dhillon said.
Over 400 people registered for the food relief package and turned up in different batches as they were directed over confirmation email with time to report at the consulate office to pick up the boxes.
The individuals registered were pre-qualified to ensure that only those who were unsupported from anywhere else, such as the government's schemes were able to receive help.
Several volunteers, mostly essential service workers, had been working behind the scene while maintaining strict social distancing so that maximum help could be provided to those in desperate situations.
The food boxes included perishable vegetables, potato, onion, rice, flour, sugar, salt tea, biscuits, noodles, spices, snack items, a loaf of bread, milk, pulses, cans of bean, nuts, banana, apple, pear, cucumber Maggi, Avocado, Lettuce, Capsicum, Eggplant and a juice box.
Each box weighed approximately 15 kgs.
"We arranged for most essential and basic food items that will allow an individual or a small family to survive for at least a week to ten days so that they can survive in this hour of their distress," Hon Consul of India, Mr Dhillon said.
"The purpose of this initiative taken by the High Commission of India is to make sure our Indian nationals, be it tourists on visitor visas, students and temporary visa holders living here in Auckland who are out of a job during this nationwide lockdown, and have no means to buy their groceries can drive through this hard times until things get back to normal," Mr Dhillon said.
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