Actor Ayushmann Khurrana and his wife, author-filmmaker Tahira Kashyap, have come out in support of women ragpickers in New Delhi during the coronavirus crisis.
The two have for years supported a non-profit organisation in Delhi named Gulmeher, a women’s collective of waste-pickers turned artisans. The NGO works with about 200 women ragpickers and this contribution will help them look after themselves and their families.
“Coronavirus has impacted people from every strata of life. But it has hit the lower income groups the hardest and it is our duty as citizens of this nation to come forward and support the people in dire need.
“Tahira and I have been associated with Gulmeher, a non-profit organization, for years and we are doing every bit possible to support these women who are absolutely distraught now,” Ayushmann, who has already donated to PM-CARES Fund, said.
The actor, who has changed the way Hindi cinema is viewed, said his interactions with them taught him a lot about India.
“(It) taught me a lot about the existing caste divides and they are real life inspiring figures. My interactions with them was my inspiration behind signing ‘Article 15’. Crisis like these impacts people like them the most and we need to protect them. In this critical moment, Tahira and I are doing our best to ensure they have all the basic requirements to sustain and stay safe by being at home.”
“Along with donating for PM-CARES, we are also doing our small bit to take care of these incredible women of Gulmeher,” he said, without disclosing the total contributions made by the couple.
Tahira says that how Indians support each other in this moment of crisis will define us as a nation.
“While us Indians are impacted with COVID-19, for some people the impact will be much more destabilising, especially economically. We have to protect the lower-income, daily wage earning community like our brothers and sisters in this time of crisis.”
She added: “How we support our fellow citizens of the country at this hour will define us as human beings and Ayushmann and I are doing our bit to support these wonderful women who are braving the coronavirus impact. We are doing whatever it takes for them to support their families and stay at home with them.”
“Due to their financial instability they are at serious risk because even a single day without earning throws their life out of gear. Ayushmann and I are ensuring we stand with them and support them at this time.”