Tourism Care Foundation hopes to give loans to needy employees shortly
By Sheik Ismail, Member – Tourism Care Foundation (TCF)
Founded in April 2020, the Tourism Care Foundation (TCF) is a non-profit organization whose objective is to help and support people who have lost their jobs and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically in the tourism industry.
One day my friend, Gafoor, called me and over our conversation we both discussed about the industry and the need to help our friends during these difficult times. During this pandemic, we have witnessed and noticed many of our colleagues facing utmost difficulty in meeting their basic and unavoidable needs like food, medicine, their children’s education fees and the like. Since they have either lost their jobs or shut down their business due to tourism inactivity, they have no other source to get any income. This was our main motive to start this foundation.
I would like to state that the activities of TCF will benefit the entire spectrum of the tourism industry — be it employees or employers of tour operator companies, travel agents, hotels, resorts, house boats, guides or any person engaged in travel and tourism trade in Kerala. Within this short period, we have identified and supported around 121 members with medical care, education needs and other daily requirements.
Nowadays we receive around 2-3 requests every day. From these requests we do a primary filtration process by collecting their employment details and financial background to select the most needy among them. Accordingly, we can provide them loans at an interest of 4% to start some small business for survival. This is our plan for the future, if we can get some good support from the government and our industry friends.
We have around fifty like-minded members working closely to run and monitor the TCF activities. Now we are contributing ourselves and our close friends are also contributing from their side. But this fund is not sufficient to support our entire industry because this pandemic has affected more than 14 lakh people in the tourism industry itself.
We are at the final stage of finishing our registration process. Due to the lockdown and travel restrictions there has been some delay in processing the formalities. Also, we can’t reach anywhere physically to support our colleagues by supplying essential items like food and medicine. We have already sent a detailed letter to the Kerala State Tourism Department to get some help by means of financial support and we hope they will consider this request soon.
We have many associations and organisations, but TCF is one and only organization that has been started to help tourism related people. All other associations are different as they have many other objectives also like destination promotion, marketing, building good relationship with the Government and to get some good support from them etc but we are working totally as an NGO to support our colleagues.
We also noticed that many of our colleagues who lost their jobs and businesses during this pandemic have initiated some small business like selling pickles, vegetables, coconuts, sanitary items, cooking classes, grocery supplies etc. We made a small video of their products for them to introduce their products through social media to get maximum reachability. Actually, it has worked well and they are getting good support through social media publicity. Now TCF is planning to create a single platform by taking a shop on rent, for them to sell their products from one place.