Due to the continuous lockdown and other measures, many daily wage earners in Pakistan are living hand-to mouth – as they haven’t earned a single rupee for weeks; in many communities and neighbourhoods, people are going hungry.
The pandemic and the respective social isolation have not only exposed our worst fears and anxieties, but in the same breath, it also surged a spirit of generosity among fellow citizens.
As soon as the reports of the first few confirmed cases of coronavirus infections trickled-in, people (via self-help) started bonding together to assist the less privileged in their respective yet unique, creative and inspiring manner.
Not only celebrities, NGOs, MNCs or social media influencers, even individuals also started running ration challenges on their social media handles, following daily target strategies.
Talking with a media reporter, a fundraiser named Syed Faizan Raza Rizvi (a Design Researcher for social and developmental projects at a design firm), informed that a couple of his friends approached him – as he has a good number of followers due to running periodic cause-related fundraisers. Since this time the scale was much bigger so he decided to engage more people and started the chains of different fitness challenges such as push ups, on Instagram. That’s how #TheRationChallenge started.
Through the help of their friends and social media family, he along with his friend achieved their targets, that started small but later on ranged between Rs50,000 to 75,000 a day.
In just a few days, with the help of their social networks (and some endorsements by influencers), they distribute the funds to the whole country.
As the coronavirus crisis escalated further, Ilyas and Rizvi reached out to their followers and expanded their model. They also established a website with a campaign/fundraiser EhsaasKaroNa. They’ve also set up a PayPal and Venmo donation option for those living abroad and looking to contribute.
Fortunately, in just 5 days, they have raised Rs1,885,179 – half of the funds are allocated for purchasing personal protective equipment for the medical workers and half for the ration drives.
The campaign later got the attention of many well-known faces, such as Jahan Yousuf, Matthieu Paley – a National Geographic Photographer, Minaal Khan, Sadaf Kanwal, Sajal Aly, Ayeza Khan, Ainy Jaffery, Sohai Ali Abro, Eman Suleman, Mansha Pasha, and many more.
Through #TheRationChallenge and #EhsaasKaroNa combined, they have gathered over Rs 38 lakhs.