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Home / Pune News / Covid-19 lockdown: Pune youth groups step up to provide free meals to the needy

Covid-19 lockdown: Pune youth groups step up to provide free meals to the needy

Youth groups fight the virus fears to provide 10,000 food packets daily to the needy

pune Updated: Mar 26, 2020 16:05 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
Food packets being distributed by volunteers outside SP College main gate on Tilak road on Wednesday.
Food packets being distributed by volunteers outside SP College main gate on Tilak road on Wednesday. (HT/PHOTO)

When the state had been first struck by the Covid-19 outbreak and the government was still figuring out a way to contain its spread, on March 19, three city groups- Vande Mataram Sanghatana, Kashmiri Students Group and Guru Gautam Muni Charitable trust- vowed to feed the warriors on the frontline- police officials, sanitation workers and medical professionals.

Now, with the entire country being put under lockdown, daily wage labourers, students, homeless individuals , among others, are left with no source of meals for the day. These youth groups are now distributing at least 10,00 food packets daily to the ‘needy’, at a time when the entire city has come to a grinding halt.

The groups have identified 12 spots across the city, where daily food packets are given to anyone who is in need. The timings to get the food packets is from 1pm to 3pm and 8.30pm to 10 pm.

“Initially, we started giving food packets to police officials, sanitation workers and medical staff at various hospitals on March 19. We realised that this situation will worsen further and accordingly planned to increase the number of food packets. So, we set up a central kitchen at Aranyeshwar where we cook different types of rice two times a day. For this, we need at least 500kg rice daily,” said Sachin Jamge, state executive president of Vande Mataram Sanghatana.

“Currently, we are distributing food packets from 12 different spots where 150 volunteers are working. The demand for our food packets is increasing daily and currently we are distributing at least 10,000 food packets to the needy like students from outside Pune, homeless individuals, beggars, security guards, police, PMC medical and sanitation staff, among others,” added Jamge.

Similarly, raw food material was distributed on Tuesday to construction site workers at Prestige Avenue, Baner Pashan Link road. “As the country is completely under a lockdown, we need to help our construction site workers so we distributed rice, wheat and biscuit packets to all site workers for taking care of their meals,” said Sanjay Deshpande, director of Sanjeevani Group.

Police personnel and medical staff being given food packets by youth organisations on Wednesday.
Police personnel and medical staff being given food packets by youth organisations on Wednesday. ( HT/PHOTO )

12 spots where you can get food packets daily (Time: 1pm to 3 pm and 8.30pm to 10pm)

1. Dnyaneshwar Paduka chowk, Fergusson College road

2. Near Sharda Centre, Erandawane

3. Prestige Point Centre chowk, Shukrwar peth

4. Ramanbaug School chowk, Narayan peth

5. Outside Sarasbaug Ganpati Temple

6. Market Yard chowk

7. Sarhad School, Katraj

8. Dandekar Bridge chowk

9. Anand Nagar chowk, Sinhgad road

10. SP College main gate, Tilak road

11. Near PN Gadgil Shop, Laxmi road

12. Outside Shaniwarwada

Contact to get the food packets

Sachin Jamge – 9921693175

Vaibhav Wagh – 9890798903