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Students clean cars to raise funds for underprivileged

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 25-05-2020 Leena Dhankhar

Over 30 teenage residents of The Ivy condominium in Sushant Lok-1 have joined hands to raise funds for underprivileged people during the lockdown by cleaning cars of the occupants.

The young residents, who have formed a group called Santa Brigade, step out around 6am and clean at least 10 cars in the condominium every day in return for money to buy groceries, fruits, vegetables, sanitisers and mask for the needy in their area.

The brigade members said they have been able to collect ₹15,000 over the last three weeks. The car owners pay them anything between ₹200 and ₹1000 for a wash, they said.

After the lockdown was imposed, the residents' welfare association (RWA) of the condominium decided to engage only essential staff. Car cleaners were asked to resume work only after May 31. This gave the Santa Brigade an opportunity.

Rannveir Malik (14), co-leader of the Santa Brigade, said that his elder brother college-going Siddhant (19), started the group on May 1. "Today we are a team of more than 30 students and we have already started to do some meaningful and satisfying work to help the needy by providing ration, vegetables, face masks, hand sanitisers, clothes and milk to people in need. We are collecting money and buying daily needs items for the needy," he said.

Muskaan Grover, a 17-year-old class 12 student, said that the initiative it made her realise the actual worth of money and hard work. "It felt good to serve those in need, especially in such difficult times. Such times call for unity and seeing everyone come together made me feel like there's hope. We get up early morning and collectively wash cars, and with the donation we help the underprivileged people," she said.

Fondly called reindeers and elves (just like Santa's team) by the RWA members, the group members are aged between 13 and 17 years.

They used their pocket money to buy car-cleaning soft cloth and detergent. In their support, the RWA provides them water and space.

The group has also helped a tailor who used to sit outside the condominium but was out of work because of the lockdown. The students now gets him to stitch masks to distribute them to the people in slums. "We provide the raw material and the tailor stitches nearly 100 masks every day and is paid ₹500 daily," said Nihal Grover, another student.

Vijay Chopra, RWA president, said that as a community they take pride in the heartwarming initiative of their children in condominium and are supporting them in the noble cause. "These children are literally sweating it out to raise funds for Santa Brigade. I am glad that the youngsters have come out of their comfort zone to reach out to the needy. I am sure the current times have taught them to be more grateful for all the help they have at home and also not take life and privileges for granted. We are proud of them and happy to support them," he said.

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