In the first phase of the relief operations, Bombay YMCA were able to cater to 20,000 persons (4000 packets) by providing them with dry rations and groceries. Cooked food to the slum dwellers, daily wage earners, migrant workers, street beggars, rag pickers and construction workers has crossed 1,00,000 (One Lakh) threshold. A team of volunteers ably led by our regular ‘Dhobiwala’ (Laundry Man) who have earned the sobriquet, ‘Scooter Saviors’ has enabled us to reach the unreached pockets from CST to Colaba Market right up to the slums at Cuffe Parade. The victims have now become saviors. Thanks to the ladies who are housed at YMCA Sharan, a shelter for destitute women run with the help of BMC have reached out the unreached in the slums at Sakinaka, Andheri. The Bombay YMCA blessed with its vast infrastructure, network and committed team of staff and volunteers at strategic locations ranging from Colaba to Navi Mumbai was able to promptly and efficiently respond to the pandemic that gripped our city.
Bombay YMCA Working closely with the BMC (MCGM), since the beginning of the crisis, we have offered our well furnished YMCA International Guest House of 75 Rooms to house their Doctors, Health Care Professionals and Asymptomatic patients. In addition, we have provided masks, gloves and medical equipment to the Nair and Kasturba Hospitals for the medical professionals working on the frontlines. Our counselors trained at the Counseling Institute at Navi Mumbai are available on call daily for those who are in distress, stress and undergoing anxiety symptoms during this lock-down period.
The Bombay YMCA since its inception in 1875 has always risen to the occasion whenever calamities have struck the city. Beginning with Relief operations during the World War I & II the Army barracks were maintained by the YMCA and the Army Officers used the YMCA at Colaba for its operations. Over the past 145 years our experience gained in the 3 R’s – Rescue, Relief and Rehabilitation has grown exponentially. During the earthquake at the Latur and Osmanabad districts in 1993, Bombay YMCA led in the relief and later rehabilitation of two villages of over 200 families including the construction of the primary school and the community centre. We were recently recognized for our efforts by the then Chief Minister, Shri. Sharad Pawar. When the communal riots broke out in the early 90s the YMCA was called in as Peacemakers between the communities in the Agripada and Mumbai Central. The Army used the premises of the Procter YMCA at Agripada as their base for their operation. In addition, Bombay YMCA constructed close to 50 tenements at Ramabai Nagar, Ghatkopar in collaboration with the Times Group.
Each time the city was submerged due to the deluge and came to a standstill, the YMCA opened its centres/Branches providing shelter and food for the stranded. During the terrorist attack of 26/11, the YMCA was home to many Mumbaikars and foreign nationals at various YMCA centres spread across the city.
Bombay YMCA acknowledges the contributions of our partners who have joined us in this mission during this time of the ‘virus crises’ – Muthoot Finance, ATE Chandra Foundation, Rotary Club of Bombay, Rotary Club of Mumbai Central, Rotary Club of Queen’s Necklace.