A Whatsapp collective comes to the rescue of Malayinkeezhu residents

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : During the ongoing lockdown, many organizations and NGOs have been of great help to the residents. One of them is ‘Ikkarapacha’, a Whatsapp collective formed by the Malayinkeezhu unit of Kerala Shasthra Sahithya Parishad. By effectively serving the residents of Malayinkeezhu by delivering essential items and providing services free of cost the collective has garnered attention. The services of Ikkarapacha have became a boon to the residents in the particular situation where it was declared a hotspot earlier.

On October 2019, with the objective of promoting products like soaps and detergents produced at Parishad centres, the collective was formed. But for the past two months, because of the corona fear, the sale which was conducted on every second Sunday at the Sreekrishna Vilasam Library, Malayinkeezhu was put on halt.

The Co-ordinator of Ikkarapacha and District Committee Member of Kerala Shastra Sahithya Parishad, Shibu A S said, ‘Around 150 families are members of the Parishad. We decided to deliver essentials to them so they would not have to venture out. That is how the group became active again.’

Shibu started the initiative by listing some books in the group. Soon more people started posting photos of products they had to sell. Shibu added, ‘There are many farmers and home gardeners who want to sell their produce. The group became a conducive platform for the sale and purchase of agriculture products. People did not have to go out to buy these. We also listef products by the Parishad.’

Every day, the listing of the products start in the evening and gets closed before 8 am the next day. The delivery of products starts at 8 am and concludes by around 10 am. Now the group has around 170 members.

Shibu said that, ‘As the group became active, people started asking for help. Some wanted fish to be delivered at home. So we arranged it through a person who sources seafood from Pulluvila. Some ask for jackfruit and some others for paper. Whoever has a required item gets in touch with us. We collect things from them and deliver to the people in need. The group mostly works under the barter system. But agriculture products are charged by the producers.’

Eventhough the group was first started for the families which belong to the Parishad, now many residents outside Malayinkeezhu have enrolled as members and are availing Ikkarapacha’s services. Shibu said, ‘The group comprises of many doctors. People who are in need of medical aid can contact them easily.’ Ikkarapacha is now focused on manufacturing masks and antiseptic lotions. Till now around 2000 masks have been produced and are being distributed to people.

Shibu said, ‘The masks are made with the help of Kudumbashree workers. Mothers of many Student Police Cadets of Malayinkeezhu Girls Higher Secondary School are also involved in the production. Until now, around 100 bottles of lotion were produced.’ The masks cost 8 rupees each. Shibu explained, ‘We are only charging fpr the masks as they are produced in large quantities due to high demand.’

Even after the lockdown which may end on May 17, the collective will continue to serve people. Shibu added, ‘We have received good support from everyone. We intend to conduct a sale at the library every Sunday so that people can come and procure products directly.’

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