Express News Service
NEW DELHI: With the national capital feeling the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, several individuals and socio-religious groups are stepping up to provide doorstep delivery of cooked meals for the patients and their families. Some are even providing home-cooked food. After seeing several Covid-19 patients struggling for a healthy diet during their treatment, 31-year-old Raghav Pal Mandal revived his non-profit organisation— Youth Welfare Association (Delhi) to supply food to them.
Raghav, who owns two start-ups, and his team of 36 volunteers are giving free food to nearly 200 people every day in different neighbourhoods in south Delhi.“The food is cooked at the homes of our volunteers as per their convenience and financial positions. Some arrange for 10 families every day while others are providing for 2-5 people. A vendor is also supporting us in this endeavour delivering 50 packets for free. The rest are handed over by the volunteers personally. A couple of people are helping with disposable food containers,” he said.
Mohammad Aman Qurashi, 23, a student living in Jamia Nagar, mobilises resources individually and supplies meals to 20-25 persons every day in his neighbourhood. He seeks monetary help from friends and acquaintances. The food is prepared at a local mess run by a woman who was virtually out of work due to lockdown.“I provide a basic menu—chapati, daal and rice. I collect parcels and deliver them on my motorcycle to the Covid patients in need,” said Qurashi, who is from Darjeeling and pursuing post-graduation in business administration in the city. He has also been assisting a group of volunteers in Okhla, which organises oxygen refill for people.
“I am living alone in Delhi. Therefore, I understand how difficult it is to arrange food. This becomes more difficult when you are in isolation and down with Covid. I started this initiative and now my friends and other residents are extending help,” he said.Satish Upadhyay, former president of Delhi Unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his team are sending food packets to about 600 city residents– mainly senior citizens or elderly who are staying alone and unable to get stuff home delivered.
Vikram Mittal, one of the volunteers of the team and in charge of the Greater Kailash area, said that several kitchens had been made operational and are serving foods to only Covid-affected people at different locations.“The offer is exclusively for people who couldn’t cook themselves or can’t afford. Separate in-charges have been appointed for different kitchens in Chandni Chowk, Janakpuri, Dwarka, Greater Kailash and several other locations,” said Mittal.