Back in July, hotelier Michael Butler walked from his home in Zurich all the way to Geneva – some 287 kilometres – to raise money for Indian hospitality workers who have lost their job during Covid-19.
Butler is inviting anyone who previously worked in hotels, restaurants or bars in India, and who needs financial help, to apply for a support package from the Hospitality Care Fund. So far his #walkforindia campaign has secured nearly 15,000 Swiss francs (USD16,000) in donations.
Although support packages have already been given to hospitality workers in need, there are still funds available.
“The Indian hospitality industry has been severely impacted by Covid-19 and the lockdowns – some parts of India are already seeing a second wave,” says Butler. “Potentially 38 million people there could lose their jobs in hospitality and tourism, but unlike countries in Europe and other parts of the world, India does not have a welfare support system.
“From my conversations with many ex-hospitality employees, [unemployment] is widespread and many hospitality workers and families are already in hardship and running out of money.”
To oversee the process, Butler has established a committee in India to process and validate applications, made up of existing hotel senior managers Maulina Gupta, Arpit Upadhyay and Tanveer Kwatra . The target is to release about 56 financial support packages.