Hyderabad: A teacher from Warangal, Srisailam, who lost his job due to the pandemic is now working as a shepherd. He wants to set up a tiffin centre and needs funds to buy utensils. There are other teachers who have lost their jobs and have learned tailoring to earn a livelihood. They want to set up tailoring centres. They were some of the beneficiaries of the Freemasons of Telangana's 'Gift-a-Livelihood' initiative.

The Freemasons distributed tools to 30 street vendors, small traders, and women doing business from home to help them restart their business that they lost due to the pandemic. During a function held at Goshamahal Baradari Masonic Building on Saturday, the Freemasons launched the Gift-a-Livelihood initiative.

This was the sixth edition of the initiative that has so far benefited 180 people. Gift-a-Livelihood was launched in August last year. The funds required for the initiative are contributed by members and philanthropists. The major portion of Saturday's distribution was sponsored by Dallas Area Telangana Association and Lodges (clubs).

The 30 beneficiaries included those who wanted to set up a tea stall, a bangle store, a stationery shop, an ironing shop, tailor shops, and a tiffin center. They came from different parts of Telangana.

Rajeev Khandelwal, the head of Freemasonry in India, said helping people make a livelihood makes more sense than feeding them. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The Gift-a-Livelihood initiative was started last year with this noble thought," he said.

He added, "Gift a livelihood to someone who needs it the most. It helps someone earn a better and more sustainable living. Today we 'gifted a livelihood' to persons who we believe are hardworking and motivated but lack the right skills and tools for the job. I am sure they will make use of it. Many beneficiaries are doing well and earning a comfortable living. They are happy with the kind of work they have been getting."

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