Doordarshan interviews the Tandon couple for their activities during COVID times

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The day the lockdown was announced, my husband Sanjay Tandon organized 500 bags containing Atta, rice, spices, cooking oil along with onions and potatoes. He delivered them at the doorstep of labourers, daily wagers and others who had no food. The process continues even today, with many more bags being made thereafter. My husband Sanjay has held the post of President BJP for 10 years. I had about 200 ‘Siropas’ gifted to him in the recent years. When the Prime minister asked everyone to wear face masks, I decided to cut up those ‘siropas’ and make masks out of them. My maid helped stitch them. That inspired my husband to ask the local cloth merchants to donate cotton cloth. He roped in a number of tailors in the city to do the stitching work for which we are paying them a nominal sum. Everyone today, has to wear a mask while stepping out. If you wear a mask, it is like saying to the world, ‘I am a responsible citizen, so I care for you’. We have distributed around 50,000 masks till date. They are washable and eco-friendly. Over the last fifteen years, Sanjay and I have written 7 books, each containing 52 Inspirational short stories. All the books have been dedicated to Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They have been published in the name and style of Sunrays for Sunday, Sunrays for Monday, Sunrays for Tuesday, Sunrays for Wednesday, Sunrays for Thursday, Sunrays for Friday and Sunrays for Saturday.

Each story here- in revolves around a teaching from the discourses of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The story is simple and value-based. It’s also accompanied by a simple sketch done by me. Due to the lockdown, Sanjay was home so we decided to make a short video of an inspirational story every day. In our own little way we tried to pitch into the war against Corona and spread positivity through our stories and also provide inspirational food for thought to people. We uploaded a 5 minute video based on a ‘Sunrays Story’ every day. The videos were shot at home with the help of our children. I personally edited the videos and uploaded them. We have been posting daily on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram as well as Twitter. Our 56 videos can be viewed on our Facebook Page. There are many people who have been lonely, depressed, anxious or frustrated in this period. These stories have provided some succour to them. We related most of the stories to Corona times and motivated people to come forward and donate in cash or donate food or make cloth masks, or do anything to contribute to the corona fight besides staying home and being safe.

To make our videos eye-catching, we colour coordinated our clothes not only with each other but also with my paintings in the back drop. I enjoyed placing colour synched flower vases, curios and other props to the sets. These story videos have reached about lakhs of people through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We did one episode about the ‘How and What’ of the making of the Sunrays books and videos, to give an insight into our family’s involvement and our passion for the project which is a philanthropic one. All proceeds from the sale of the Sunrays books go to charity.

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