Raising Funds For 'Dabbawalas'

Dabbawalas 

With stringent coronavirus-induced lockdown measures, India's famous tiffin delivery service, the 'Dabbawalas' have been severely impacted. You may be wondering: "Who are the Dabbawalas?" 

 

Dabbawalas are integral to delivering hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work in India. Every day, roughly 5,000 Dabbawalas pick up home-cooked meals to service thousands of citizens across Mumbai. Delivering over 200,000 home-cooked lunches a day, the Dabbawalas have almost never missed a meal. But with uncertainty around when the lockdown will end, the Dabbawalas are facing a financial crisis, one that is ineffectively being addressed by the state government. 

 

Dabbawalas do not have any other source of income now. Their condition has worsened after cyclone Nisarga, which has ruined their houses and fields. Unemployed since March by Modi's lockdown and hit by cyclone Nisarga, Mumbai's 5000 Dabbawalas searching for non-existent jobs. The same Dabbawalas who were responsible to providing food to thousands of citizens across Mumbai are now the same people who are unable to afford food for themselves.

 

This is an alarming issue that requires us and society to step up and do our bit. 

How Can You Help? 

Do Your Bit has posted a fundraising campaign on our platform that is accepting donations for this cause. Any funds raised will go fully towards providing a one-month meal ration to each Dabbawala.  

 

Every a dollar will go a long way. Please do your bit and donate: https://dyourbit.com/activities/campaigns/tiffin-service-faces-crisis-amid-india-s-covid-19-lockdown

 

We will be sending all the funds to Dabbawala Association of Mumbai for further distribution. Or you can donate to them directly on https://mumbaidabbawala.in/

Autism Awareness

Sheryl Lawrence, Austin TX

Autism Awareness  

When I was a young child, I did not realize that my family was not like other families. My family did not go out to eat; we ate the same food for dinner every single night at the exact same time, we never did anything spontaneous or adventurous, we watched the same television shows at the exact same time every day; we had a cemented routine. My life and my family was like this because I have two brothers with autism. 

 

I have a twin who has autism and is nonverbal, and I have an older brother who also has autism and OCD. They are both so different in the way they act and what their abilities are, which is hard to adapt to, but I would not change anything. When I tell people that I have two brothers with autism I get one of two reactions: “Oh! That’s so cool!” or “Oh. I am so sorry.”. This is because most people do not understand the day-to-day of someone who cares for someone with a disability. They made me who I am today, and I would not trade them for any other brothers in the world.

 

I have not held any awareness events for autism, but I am always sure to stand up for people with disabilities. This is something that everyone should be doing because they are never mentioned when people talk about minorities, but many limitations are placed on people with disabilities in our society and it needs to change. Be sure to see how you can help below.

 

Next Steps: How Can You Help? 

 

Tell people who use the R-word to NOT use it! Many people do not know that it was used as a derogatory word towards people with disabilities and tend to use it to simply mean, “stupid”. The more people who ban the R-word in their life, the closer we can be to banning the R-word all together. 

 

Do NOT support Autism Speaks! Autism Speaks is the largest autism advocacy organization in the United States. It sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. However, many people with Autism do not feel like this organization speaks for them. This organization has portrayed Autism as a terrible disease and also that is curable which are two huge misconceptions about Autism!

Here is a video they published in 2009: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UgLnWJFGHQ

 

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a great organization to donate to and volunteer with!

https://autisticadvocacy.org/

 

Special Olympics is another great organization to volunteer with. Many chapters have it set-up where you can volunteer with the kids once a week during practices or once at a competition. This organization is always in need of volunteers, so this would be a great place to spend your time!

https://www.specialolympics.org/

My Life and Sports Journey – Never Give Up

Never give up. That’s the message Mary Kate Callahan continues to preach. The inspiring 19-year-old T8-T10 paraplegic is on a quest, and has made training for and competing in Triathlon and Ironman events her life’s passion. Here is the story of this hero.

Transverse Myelitis didn’t stop me!

My life and sports journey began when I was just 5 ½ months old. During the night, a virus called Transverse Myelitis attacked my spinal cord and left me a T8-T10 paraplegic. I began swimming as part of aqua therapy, joined my local swim club as a result, and never looked back.

Breaking Barriers

As a high school swimmer, I was the captain of Fenwick High School’s 2012 State Championship Runner-Up team. As part of my efforts to swim at the state high school championships, I teamed up with the Illinois Attorney General and Equip for Equality. Together, we compelled the Illinois High School Association to create opportunities for disabled athletes to compete in state-level competitions. As a result of this effort, I, and six other girls, were the first athletes with a disability in Illinois history to compete at the state championship swim meet.

First World Championship

In 2012, I became the youngest member of the USA World Paratriathlon Team and competed in my first World Championships in New Zealand. I have also been a member of the USA World Championship Teams in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In October of 2015, I set the course record at Ironman Louisville (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run).

I now serve as a mentor and motivational speaker, discussing adversity and encouraging children and young adults to engage in an active lifestyle. I also serve as a Sports Envoy and most recently traveled to Uzbekistan to work with their Paralympic Association, coaches and athletes to help continue to develop their paralympic programming.

Take Away

Never give up. The world is unfair, but how we make the best of our situations is what truly speaks to our character and strength. It is important to always live life to the fullest, and enjoy every single moment. Life is too short, so make sure to always have a smile on your face and put your best foot forward. 

Superhero with Autism

Hi, my name is Ethan. I am a teenager living in a world where I might never fit society’s view of normal, but that’s OK, because normal is boring.

 

My mom says I am her real-life superhero because I am strong, brave, smart, and funny. Mom says that despite my very little verbal communication, I taught her more in 5 years than she could ever teach me. There’s this misconception that children on the spectrum hardly show any affection, but that is false because I love everyone.

 

I do share many daily struggles, however. Every day is an obstacle I have to overcome. I am sensitive to smell, loud noises, and am a really picky eater. I don’t like most textures, but that’s not my fault; it has to do with sensory issues.

 

I was diagnosed with Level 3 Autism at an early age. That used to be a really scary word for my mom, but she realized it has been a beautiful journey and that word itself has become beautiful on its own, because Autism is now an integral part of who I am. 

 

I think it is important to accept people for who they are because many things are out of their control. I am a firm believer in treating people the way you want to be treated because you never know what each person is going through personally. Love and respect everyone equally; it is how you treat others that will you be remembered for. 

© 2020 Do Your Bit. All Rights Reserved. Designed By FULLSTACKDEV