How people and organizations in Belagavi rose to provide food for Covid patients
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, they say. Amidst so much chaos all around due to the pandemic and the lockdown, there are emerging heart-warming tales of people and organizations who have risen to help those affected by the pandemic, including the patients.
Speaking to three such people, one can see how humanity always stands above any calamity. When someone gets infected by the covid virus, life comes to a standstill for at least a week when he/she cannot venture out of home or come in contact with anyone. Leave aside work, even getting a square meal becomes a problem. It is in such cases that these people are served by providing wholesome food at the doorsteps of these patients across Belagavi.
Kunal Rao Kamle of The Helping Hands initiative has been providing food packets to the homeless and the destitute for close to 10 years now. It is a work that he has carried forward what his father had been doing before he expired. Kunal is joined by his five to six friends, his elder sister and some other acquaintances who contribute every month towards the groceries required for this food donation.
All these years, they would prepare around 20 to 30 food packets and distribute them to the needy on the roads. Kunal also ensured that he collects any excess food from functions, test it for quality and then distributes it to the needy. He also upcycled clothes, blankets, and essential clothes in a similar way by collecting from people. Kunal and his family also create sleeping bags from gunny bags, plastic, and other durable material to be distributed to the needy. Kunal also gets calls where people ask for blankets and other essentials which they do not have
During the pandemic last year, Kunal scaled up his operations and began providing food to Covid patients who cannot cook at home nor have anyone to do so. As he began getting calls, he set up a team of volunteers and they distributed the packets across the city. This year too, they have continued with this service, today serving around 120 patients every day. The packet contains freshly prepared food items like pulao, coriander rice, upma, etc. which is prepared at his kitchen in Kulkarni Galli with the help of his mother, wife, and other family members. All this food distribution is completely free of cost. If anyone wants to donate groceries like rice, dal, oil, or even pay for gas, they can do so either through direct payment or by purchasing the commodities.
Contact Kunal Rao at : 6360801982
The Belagavi chapter of the Akhil Bharatiya Marwadi Yuva Manch has also started door delivery of food to covid patients. Started three days ago, they are today serving close to 80 homes, twice a day (Lunch and dinner) with the help of three delivery boys. The food is prepared adhering more or less to the menu prepared by Dr. Madhav Prabhu is sourced from a central kitchen from Belagavi city which is also providing a source of livelihood to a couple. The food comprises two large chapatis, dal, rice, salad and a vegetable. Chapatis are packed in foil and the liquids in containers and are delivered to the doorstep. A nominal charge of Rs. 50 is all they take for each meal while they incur a cost of Rs. 30 per delivery which means that the cost of the food is largely borne by the organization.
One can contact on any of the following numbers:
Jay Rathi – 9341113042
Laxmikant Pasari – 9480644146
Kamlesh Rajpurohit – 7899210464
Ravi Rajpurohit – 9739864832
Mahesh Sharma – 9448160843
Akash Agarwal – 8904834553
Sanjay Purohit- 9448116555
Santosh Vyas – 9448020248
Rajeev Wadhwa of The Hidden Door, Belagavi has started a similar initiative in association with Belgaum Foodies (Mandar Kolhapure) called Kar Seva- a 7-day quarantine meal package where food is provided at the doorstep of patients. Lunch and dinner cost Rs. 280 per person per day ( which includes home delivery twice a day). This food is prepared as per the menu suggested by Dr. Madhav Prabhu and contains 2 phulkas, rice, a gravy (dal/soup/gravy vegetable), dry vegetable and salad.
Breakfast options are also available. The food is freshly prepared by three women at different locations thereby again giving them a means of earning their livelihood. The money that is paid for the food completely goes towards the food and delivery.
As of today, around 50 deliveries are being done per day. What is of significance is that this initiative is getting calls from across India from kids hailing from Belagavi who want to arrange for food for their parents at Belagavi. In many cases, recalls Wadhwa, he has pitched in to provide several other things like soaps upon request from the children staying far away for their parents in Belagavi. One can imagine the plight of patients and their families when they are suffering from the infection and are home-bound for long durations or are admitted to hospitals. In fact, Wadhwa is also arranging food for patients in hospitals.
Contact Rajeev Wadhwa at 9833069306 or Mandar Kolhapure : 7090710710 to place your order.
Order and payment for food for the above two initiatives (except Helping hands, which is free), can be done by following the requirements of SRF no. , name and address and through Gpay or other modes as given.
One cannot miss the irony that while people and organizations are trying hard to pitch in and help the needy, they are having to face a lot of flak in the form of nasty comments. Such kinds of initiatives are a long time commitment and not everyone can do what is being done. Instead of encouraging, lauding and supporting these initiatives, it is heartbreaking to see such backlash and allegations. In fact, it is the need of the hour to strengthen the hands that help.
One must be aware that preparing food and delivering it to your doorstep incurs cost. It can be offset only if large-hearted people come forward and generously donate. Till then, the least we can do is spread the word and be of some help. Humanity is facing an unprecedented crisis. Being good is the only way to be right now.