Before I proceed with the article, let me tell you a story associated with the image below. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I need your picture for the story
He: Take this one, I am wearing a t-shirt made of recycled plastic
Me: But your face isn’t seen
He: So what?
Well, people, that is Shishir Joshi for you! A commander who prefers to remain in the shadows while working with his army of Good Samaritans.
When it comes to the grassroot problems of Mumbai’s citizens, there is one man who always carries the torch, Shishir Joshi. We have seen him create impact through railway station beautification, plastic recycling, adoption of BMC schools and many other initiatives which have changed the social & infrastructural fabric of Mumbai. Shishir has managed to mobilize many projects that will make Mumbai a better city for every citizen.
The national lockdown in the face of the Corona Virus pandemic has left many citizens confused, anxious, overwhelmed, sad and depressed. It is a situation that no one was really prepared for.
It has never happened, has it? An entire country shut down for 3 weeks. The future hanging in limbo – no one knowing how long the lockdown will effectively last. The lasting emotional and financial repercussions of the country’s lockdown are going to be long-lasting and possibly devastating.
There are so many people who are affected by the Lockdown – senior citizens, persons with disabilities, daily wage earners, homeless people and many more. Project Mumbai is working hard towards making life easier for them
Though Shishir leads the initiatives at Project Mumbai, it is an ARMY of volunteers, corporates and NGOs who are the real unsung heroes and Good Samaritans in serving the city relentlessly.
“The city of Mumbai truly has a very large heart. The Project Mumbai call to action had led to hundreds of citizens volunteering to support by the minute. Each of them selflessly offered their help so that those in need could benefit in the best manner possible. Its an amazing team spirit and selfless humanity at play here.” says a grateful Shishir Joshi, Founder and Chief Executive of the award-winning not-for-profit Project Mumbai.
You can learn more about him, his dynamic army of selfless soldiers and their projects by visiting www.projectmumbai.org.
Here is a brief dekho into what Shishir Joshi and the Project Mumbai Army are doing for Mumbai during COVID-19 Lockdown.
FREE Counselor on Call
Staying at home can trigger many emotional reactions within an individual. Prior to the lockdown, we were already living in an era where texting and social media were giving rise to loneliness and isolation. Self-deprecation was masked by an overt show of happiness on social media – but when everything is shrouded in darkness, there is a limit to which one can fabricate happiness online.
It is at such a juncture when individuals need someone to speak to. Someone who wouldn’t judge, someone who would care, a trained professional who would provide solutions.
When Shishir realised that the lockdown in Mumbai would apply brakes to the citizens of a fast-moving city, he knew that the cry for help would be heard soon.
Along with his team, he immediately set up an army of 50 trained counsellors who will offer FREE counselling on call.
Project Mumbai in association with Prafulta launched a Free Counsellors on Call facility for people of Mumbai with a team of close to 50 trained Counsellors being at their service from 8 am to 8 pm across multiple languages including Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Malayalam, Punjabi and Kannada.
Counsellors details are as follows:
Morning Slot: 8am-2pm
Simran – English / Hindi / Punjabi – 9967708252
Shilpa – English / Hindi / Gujarati / Marathi – 9833886723
Nidhi – English / Hindi – 9870200278
Sonali – English / Hindi / Marathi / Gujrati – 9820739500
Anu – English / Hindi / Malayalam – 9821110534
Geeta – English / Hindi / Gujarati / Malayalam – 9619138746
Bindu – English / Hindi / Tamil / Malayalam / Telugu – 9769232427
Shraddha – English / Hindi / Marathi / Gujrati – 9820083358
Neepa – English / Gujrati / Hindi – 9820228174
Malvika – English – 9773589016
Devika – English / Hindi / Punjabi – 9619456692
Anagha – English / Hindi / Marathi – 9011058787
Kumkum – English / Hindi – 9930967451
Pratishtha – English / Hindi / Marathi / Gujarati – 9833722831
Juhi – English / Hindi – 7977997842
Shaista – English / Hindi / Konkani – 7020069140
Tanvi S – English / Hindi – 8355917587
Kalyani – English / Hindi / Marathi – 9029030054
Sangeeta – Hindi – 9930632928
Tanvi T – English / Hindi / Gujrati – 9819549088
Shraddha G – English / Hindi / Marathi – 90827 57134
Anuya – English / Hindi / Marathi – 9326678583
Afternoon Slot 2pm-8pm
Kuntal – English / Hindi / Gujarati 8657422409
Ratandeep – English / Hindi / Punjabi 8356947150
Sheena – English / Hindi 8450938338
Shachi – English /Marathi /Hindi /Konkani 9004805577
Soha – English 00447442837114 (Whatsapp call only)
Vicky – English, Hindi, Marathi 9920109316
Preeti – English, Marathi 9372734717
Dippal – English, Hindi, Gujrati, Marathi, Kutchi 9820088457
Deepal J – English, Hindi, Gujrati, Marwari 9920712315
Afrin – English, Hindi 9769978863
Shachi – English, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani 9004805577
Yogita – English, Hindi, Marathi 9930180508
Preethi – English/Hindi/Marathi 9820955943
Priyanka – English, Hindi, Gujrati 9987216112
Usha – English Hindi and Marathi. 9920039186
Saba – English, Hindi, Gujrati 9930178990
Arlene K – English/ Hindi 8652250939
Geeta – English / Hindi / Gujarati / Malayalam – 9619138746
Sanjeev – English / Hindi 9833761600
Hitakshi – English, Hindi, Gujarati, Sindhi 8779375552
Nilom – English/Hindi/Gujrati 9819289211
Ujala – English, Hindi 9619196160
Dr Sukhmeet – English/Hindi/Marathi/Punjabi/Gujarati 9372266275
Analisa – English, Hindi 9819864016
Ms Armeet – English, Hindi and Punjabi. 9769438149
Rachna J – English, Hindi, Punjabi 9892286922
What else is Project Mumbai doing to support Mumbai during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The army of over 1500 citizen volunteers, now a WhatsApp Group called Good Samaritans reached out to senior citizens living alone and people with disabilities who are living alone.
Some of these Good Samaritans cook food and provide nutritious, home-cooked meals to those in need while the others help in delivering the grocery and medicines.
The army along with Project Mumbai in association with MCGM are working hard to provide FREE delivery of groceries and packed food and medicines for persons with Disabilities or Senior Citizens living alone.
While many pseudo-intellectuals were busy updating their social media on how “worried” they were about the daily wage earners and the homeless, the Project Mumbai Army was silently putting up a backend to combat the issue.
The army of Good Samaritans is joining hands with several NGOs, corporates and citizens to provide warm home-cooked, nutritious meals to the homeless and daily wage earners through the initiative #KhaanaChahiye.
Operation #KhanaChahiye, spearheaded by Project Mumbai and championed by high-octane superheroes Ruben Mascarenhas, Munaf Kapadia, Pathik Muni, Latha Sankarnarayan, K K Mookhey, Elsa Dsilva, Supreet K Singh, Vartika Singh, Sindhu Ghokshe, Bhavik Kothari, Mazher Ramzanali, Sufyan Shaikh, Ankita Verma, Mihir Chitre, Neeti Goel were in their day-six, providing lunchboxes to the homeless and grocery bags to the migrants with families. The action got injected with another jab of energy with the vivacious #SapnaMotiBhavnani joining the force with her team as well.
On a single day, #KhanaChahiye fed over 15,000 people. No mean feat this considering less than a week ago (end of March 2020).
It had all started over a conference between Ujwal Thakar, Ashish Sanyal, Ruben Mascarenhas, Pathik Muni, Munaf Kapadia and Shishir.
There are so many initiatives that Project Mumbai regularly takes up for the betterment of the city. The projects are of relevance across the social strata and most have a long term impact on the well-being of the citizens of this wonderful city we call, Mumbai.
DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter is indeed honoured to feature Shishir Joshi and the Project Mumbai Army. India is PROUD of you all.
Keep walking! God Bless!
How can you help?
Leave a note of appreciation for the Project Mumbai army in the comment section below. Your words of encouragement will mean a lot to these selfless Corona Warriors.