These heroes reach out from home amid Covid-19 pandemic

One developed a website to give hawker stalls a greater online presence. Another held a film screening and post-session discussions online to recapture the communal experience of cinema. The Sunday Times speaks to five groups who have responded to circuit breaker measures in creative ways that have made Singaporean lives a tad better.

Hosting a 'watch party' to give film lovers, local distributors a boost

Around 11pm on April 4, about 600 people tuned in to an Instagram live video, co-hosted by writer Amanda Lee Koe and film-maker Kirsten Tan, of a discussion of Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, written and directed by Celine Sciamma.

Prior to the discussion, the pair hosted a "watch party" of that same film with people streaming it in their homes together in a bid to capture the "no-pressure camaraderie" of a cinematic experience.

"I love the feeling of watching a film in a cinema. It's anonymous, but there's also a connection," said Ms Lee Koe.


Doing her bit to educate children about social impact

When concerned citizen Rahimah A. Rahim heard about landlords evicting tenants based on nationality, and of fear-mongering by some that Chinese nationals should be avoided amid the coronavirus outbreak, she did something about it.

She set up a project titled "The Get Well Card Project" involving children from different backgrounds watching animated videos and hand-writing cards for the community in response to Covid-19. The "Get Well" goes out to the victims of the outbreak, including the patients, front-line workers and those who have lost their incomes.

She started this project as she felt it was important to educate children about the social and economic impact of the virus. She hopes participants will be kinder and more grateful towards front-line workers.


Designing poster templates to thank delivery riders

With the circuit breaker measures, those who deliver food to residences have taken on an outsized importance - and Mr Pann Lim and his colleagues have put their design skills to work to make sure this group of essential workers know they are appreciated.

The co-founder of creative agency Kinetic Singapore decided to act on an idea brought up by his co-worker, roping in some 15 others in the agency to create poster templates that thank delivery riders for their hard work.

The idea is simple: People can download the posters from the website, add on to them as they like, and stick them on their doors. They can also leave some snacks outside the door for delivery riders, such that "contactless delivery need not be heartless", Mr Lim, 47, said.


Website helps users order directly from hawkers

Two university students noticed hawkers struggling to cope with the circuit breaker measures and decided that the stalls needed a boost online.

FoodLeh?, the fledgling website they went on to create, allows people to search for food stalls near them by typing a postal code, quickly showing users the stalls' addresses and the numbers to call to place orders.

It aims to be a one-stop shop for finding food and beverage places, cutting out "middle men" platforms that charge hawkers a commission to be listed on their apps.


Making YouTube videos to engage son and educate others

Dr Mani Chugh, Dr Gaurav Chugh and their son Hridhaan are behind Little Hearts-Super kids, a YouTube channel with education videos voiced over by Hridhaan. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MANI CHUGH

Between trying their best to stay positive while cooped up at home and missing their friends, Dr Mani Chugh and Dr Gaurav Chugh found time to give their only child his digital debut.

Three-year-old Hridhaan Chugh, who is still in Nursery 2, now has his own YouTube channel - Little Hearts-Super kids - on which he teaches viewers about interesting facts and the coronavirus.

His mother draws the illustrations by hand while he provides the voice-over - an activity he likes to do as he is an avid reader, said Dr Mani, a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble.


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Businesses affected, but bosses step up to help foreign workers

Sales at Liang Food Caterer have plunged by around 80 per cent in recent weeks but general manager Foo Zhi Yang is still lending a hand to the community by dishing up meals for migrant workers.

The firm prepares lunch and dinner - rice with vegetables and other ingredients - and delivers them to workers every day.

Mr Foo said: "It is about helping others who are in a greater need. It is better to give than to receive."


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