DURBAN – A Durban based social entrepreneur and publisher has started an initiative that celebrates the essential workers who go by unheralded during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anivesh Singh hatched the idea of the Lockdown Hero Award. It comes in the form of a social media banner with the nominee’s name attached to it.
“This is for the supermarket packer, the shop assistant, the pharmacist, the taxi driver, the nurse, the everyday people who are out working at great risk to themselves and their families while the rest of us are in lockdown,” added Singh.
There is no monetary or trophy value to the award. It is simply a digital certificate meant to warm the heart of someone who has silently gone about their work. Singh mentioned that he was inspired by a Facebook post of a little child eagerly greeting the garbage collector with his mother ranking the experience as the highlight of his day.
“Without the folks who dutifully pick up the rubbish, our streets would resemble Armageddon within days,” he added.
Singh’s desktop publishing (DTP) specialist crafted the superhero design and it caught fire on the “Made in Chatsworth” e-commerce platform. Nominees come via an email to [email protected] and receive a banner with the name inserted in return.
“There are no committees or adjudicators, just ordinary people wanting to give simple recognition to other ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” said the businessman.
Rather than waiting through the lockdown the businessman has also been hard at work promoting other small businesses and NGOs online. A special element was marketing books on behalf of the Denis Hurley Centre’s homeless booksellers which can be found at www.madeinchatsworth.co.za.
“People get to choose and pre-pay for books that can be picked up after the lockdown,” said Singh.
The funds go directly to the homeless people to tide them over while they’re not able to work. Singh is concerned that small vendors could end up destitute and has been promoting various home industries as well.
“The engine of the economy has to be cranked up again and every shoulder has to be put to the wheel,” added the father of two.
Singh’s own heroic efforts during the testing time of the pandemic are every bit as worthy of recognition as the people he wants to honour.
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