Desh Raj, a ‘guest worker’ (as they are addressed in Kerala) from Karauli District of Rajasthan, is a hero in Kerala as the state is fighting COVID-19 pandemic. Desh Raj is a “guest worker” or commonly known as a migrant worker in Kerala. He came to earn his livelihood in the state over 17 years ago as a daily wage earner, and he is one among the millions of migrant workers in Kerala. This is an inspiring story of how a humble and hard-working boy turned his fate to help many more like him during this lockdown period due to coronavirus in India.
The Good Samaritan of Kerala Migrant Workers
A couple of days ago, Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, in his daily press meeting congratulated and thanked Desh Raj for his exceptional charity service to the society and called his service a heroic act. The national and local media noticed this and spread the message, which became famous beyond borders.
Desh Raj was just 16 years old when he came to Kerala searching for a job. He did odd jobs for his daily bread and butter. After meeting his expenses, he sent money home to feed his parents. A small part of his earnings he kept as savings.
After accumulating his savings for several years, he used his savings to bring and sell marbles and granites from Rajasthan.
Now he is living with his wife and three children; he has built his own house in Kayakkodi village in Kerala style. He has made a business out of importing granites and marbles, which he supplies to contractors and individual buyers across Kerala.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, lives in India and across the world have come to a standstill. When the world is facing the most difficult times in its hundred-year history, Desh Raj is giving back what he received from the place where he has lived for 17 years. He is spending money to buy vegetables every day to be supplied to the community kitchen run by Kayakkodi village panchayat in Kozhikode district.
Desh Raj also supplied a quantity of over 580 vegetable kits, each containing items required for one week for each family in the village. He has also provided food grains and vegetable kits to other guest workers living in government camps within the panchayat, who are also migrants from other states like him.
His story first came to light when Ms Ashwathi KT, President, Kayakodi Grama Panchayat shared the story through her Facebook page.
Kerala is presently fighting coronavirus with multiple measures which are being pointed out as a role model by global media and world leaders. The state is already experiencing a curve in its confirmed cases. It is but unique to the social system based on social justice and human equality than any other system. They are mobilising resources and running community kitchens so that no one goes hungry during this crisis, the system in place in the state is making a humungous attempt in supplying food items and medicines to households, and so on. The state’s volunteering culture supports such initiatives to fight COVID-19, self-help groups like Kudumbashree, other social groups, police force, youth organisations, village panchayaths, and grama sabhas are all under coordination with the district administration of each district.
Note: If you have any inspiring story to tell us, about individuals and businesses, that are reaching out to help the country and the ones in need during the lockdown, please connect with us at [email protected]. Help us tell the world about the efforts of the Coronavirus Warriors!