Poona College cooks food for 700 migrants stuck at labour camps
Professors along with a group of present and former students of the Anjuman Khairul Islam’s Poona College, are providing meals to at least 700 needy people. Anwar Shaikh, principal of the college speaks about this initiative.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 16:28 IST
Thousands of people have been stranded in the city, following the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, struggling to make ends meet. Professors along with a group of present and former students of the Anjuman Khairul Islam’s Poona College, are providing meals to at least 700 needy people. Anwar Shaikh, principal of the college speaks about this initiative.
What is your exact role in the crisis?
We, Poona college teachers and alumni, provide groceries and daily essentials to daily wage workers, security guards, sanitation workers and homeless people. We work in coordination NSS volunteers of the college and police mitra volunteers to carry out the distribution of these ration kits and cooked meals. We have also set up a kitchen on the college premises.
How does your day begin and roll out?
My day begins at 5.30 am. I do some exercise at home before starting out. I start with coordinating with the volunteers and then visit places for distribution of food. Daily, more than 700 packets are distributed at various places like Alandi labour camp, Angarshah Takiya, Bhavani peth, Kasarwadi, Kondwa Pargenagar labour camp, Kondwa, Chandannagar and Kharadi labour camp. The Anjuman Khairul Islam Trust chairman Nisar Patel and general secretary Hani Farid have been instrumental in this initiative. Work in the kitchen begins as early as 6 am and goes on till late.
What precautions are you taking?
We are taking all precautions specified by the health department. While preparing meals and distributing them, we ensure that all our volunteers are wearing masks, gloves and sanitise their hands. We make sure that social distancing norms are followed.
What is your assessment of Covid-19 crisis in Pune and its unfolding?
The Covid-19 infection is life threatening. We need more medical staff on the field. Though the government hospitals are at the forefront, private hospitals too must come forward and help as they have good infrastructure and machines. The police department is doing its best to enforce strict lockdown and that is commendable.
What gaps do you see in health care and relief work?
Our healthcare system is in dire need of investment. We need at least five hospitals on the lines of Sassoon General Hospital. We also need more youth to take up nursing as a profession. Though the administration is trying their best, a lot more needs to be done to improve the health infrastructure of the state.