Tax officers join frontline workers to help needy fight Covid crisis
Many tax officers have voluntarily joined the frontline force to help the needy and poor during Covid-19 crisis. A group of them in Mumbai has pooled resources to provide free ration and other essential items to the poor
What might be a regular day in a tax officer’s life? Most of the times, their focus is on bolstering tax collection. Tasked by the government to mop up more, they keep looking for possible evasion by taxpayers. They issue notice for payment and pursue them vehemently to cough up tax.
This is perhaps the reason they are sometimes accused of misusing power and being harsh to the general public. Over the years, the perception has only got stronger. But some of the officers are set to change this, and tide of public opinion could be headed to turn sooner than later.
As Coronavirus takes the country in its grip, many tax officers have voluntarily joined the frontline force to help the needy and poor. A group of them in the financial capital Mumbai has pooled resources to provide free ration and other essential items to help migrant workers and daily-wagers during this difficult time.
The Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers Megha Bhargava and Suresh Kataria have taken the lead and tied up with NGO Samparpan to ease the pain and hardship being faced by thousands of workers who are stuck in Mumbai and around during the nationwide lockdown.
Soon after the lockdown was announced, the two officers along with some of their colleagues quickly devised a plan to organize relief efforts through Samarpan for daily wagers.
As the officers swiftly came into action many more joined along. Now, almost 40 officers are shouldering the responsibility in giving back to the society.
While most of them are from IRS fraternity based in Mumbai and Bangalore, the team consists of officers posted all over the country. Many more like-minded people have also joined the team and contributing in cash and kind.
Samarpan has been at the forefront of mitigating the harshest effects of the outbreak, and has launched a comprehensive relief programme. But the enormity of work needs more support in donations.
The most critical factor for all the above initiatives is access to funds. An amount of merely Rs 1,000 can help one person survive at least one entire month (or a family of 4 for around 8-10 days).
Samarpan has appealed for donations by all well-wishers, which is also eligible for tax benefits u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act. The donations can be made through Samarpan’s website or by crowd funding website Ketto through net banking or credit/debit cards/Paytm etc.
Samarpan is trying hard to help a minimum of 15,000 daily wage earners/migrant workers whose needs are extreme. Apart from this, Samarpan is trying to provide around 100,000 cooked meals in Mumbai.