Sangamner’s youth undertake doorstep food delivery to avoid crowding
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s thought ‘Service to Mankind is service to God’ the youth brigade of Sangamner taluka on the Nashik-Pune highway, has been providing meals twice a day to the poor and the needy at their doorstepUpdated: May 27, 2020 16:25 IST
Daily wage earners, housemaids, and jobless restaurant workers are among the nearly 500 people in distress who are being provided with daily food and rations by a youth organisation in Sangamner taluka of Ahmednagar district.
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s thought ‘Service to Mankind is service to God’ the youth brigade of Sangamner taluka on the Nashik-Pune highway, has been providing meals twice a day to the poor and the needy at their doorstep.
These youths belong to Chatrapati Foundation Sangamner’s ‘Shiv Jayanti Ustav Yuvak Samiti’, a non-political youth organisation. They launched the ‘Annchtra’ (food security) programme in the Covid-19 lockdown period and have won the heart of many.
The youths are engaged in managing, preparing and distributing meals twice a day to the needy families. Simultaneously, they have undertaken other social activities such as arranging fodders for stray cattle, grocery kits, sanitising drives in the town and providing drinking water to policemen on lockdown duty.
Manish Malve, founder-member of the Samiti and a former president of the organisation said, “When the lockdown was declared in the entire state, we observed that the administrative staff and sanitary workers in the town need healthy and timely meals. We then started providing 100 tiffin boxes from March 23 itself.”
They then saw the suffering of daily wagers and their teams studied the situation and collected data. “We unanimously decided to distribute grocery kits and food at the doorstep of these people. Since social distancing was important, we decided to deliver food at their doorstep,” he said.
Samiti president Kalpesh Pogul said a team of 10 members was appointed to handle the cooking. They would cook the afternoon meal from 8 am to 11 am and start preparing the evening meal at 5 pm.
“Once the food was ready, the other teams would make the parcels in disposable containers and then deliver them,” he said.
Other prominent activists such as Rahul Nehulkar, Shailesh Kalntri and Amar Katari said the samiti has nearly 6,000 members and donations of Rs 2000 to 5000 were collected from each member to start the meal service. “We began from March 24 with 500 meals twice a day. People from the town have been contributing by donating vegetables and grocery items on their own. Our team members used their two-wheelers for doorstep delivery of meal parcels to families on time. These members bear the fuel cost for their work,” said Nehulkar.
Kalantri said, “It gives us immense happiness that the youths in our town are engaged in this social cause.” He said that 300 grocery kits had been provided to needy families during the lockdown.
Katari noted that volunteers from their team undertook fumigation drives in the entire town after there was panic over the Covid-19 positive cases that began surfacing.
The Padmashali samaj offered its Markenday Mandir premises, located in the middle of the town, free of cost to run the community kitchen with some volunteers coming forward to assist with the cooking.
Formed nine years ago, this youth organisation holds a grand event every year on the occasion of Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the warrior-king, Chhatrapati Shivaji. Social activities undertaken by this group includes distribution of notebooks to children from 150 school in the neighbouring villages; insurance policies for their members and assistance in times of adversity. adverse situations. Recently, this social welfare group helped a family in the rehabilitation of a rape victim.
Seema Pardeshi, a household maid her family of seven members including three small children, husband and in-laws was facing a crisis in the lockdown. Her husband, who runs a saloon, was also out of work. The family survived on the daily meals distributed by Samiti, she said.
“We received the meals on time. It would consist of chapati, bhaji, dal and rice. Sometimes, there would be sweets. Recently, we received aamrus (mango juice) and gulab jam,” she said.
Raju Pavale, a restaurant worker who lives with his two sons, one of who is disabled, and old mother, said, “We had lost hopes of survival after the lockdown was announced. We are very grateful to this youth organisation for providing meals for the last 60 days,” he said.