Indore: The Raen Baseras or night shelters in the city are proving to be a boon for the numerous people who are getting basic wholesome food only for Rs 5, at a time when the cheapest thali anywhere else in the city would cost no less than Rs 40-50.
There are three Raen Baseras in the city, which are run by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), and they are catering to around 500 persons, mainly homeless and people with marginal incomes, every day. They are not only getting a comfortable place to sleep at night (they are given bed and blankets) but also food at the same place.
Dayaram, 40, is a fruit vendor. His day is exhausting; starting at 10 in the morning and going late in the night. He has no family member. “It is difficult to manage business and prepare my food. So every afternoon I go to the Gangwal Bus Stand Raen Basera to have lunch. That is the only meal I can have peacefully,” he said.
Suresh, a 17 year-old-rag picker, wanders around the city searching for items that have resale value. On a good day, he earns anywhere between Rs 70 to Rs 100, but that is not even enough for two decent square meals in any other place save the Raen Baseras. “I am an orphan and have nowhere to go. Often the street is my bed and the sky my roof. But, for food, I have the Raen Basera near Jhabua Tower to fall back on. I eat a good meal for Rs 5; it fills my stomach.”
Free Press visited all the three Raen Baseras to check the ground reality. Food is served between 11 am to 3 pm, and one has to register through Aadhar card.
Ashok Tarawat, incharge of night shelter at Gangwal bus stand, said: “We can cater to around 125 people a day”. Omprakash of Ujjain and Magan Baghel of the city who had come for lunch were very pleased with the food being served. “We get dal, chapatti, rice and vegetable. We can eat as much as we want, and everything is served hot and in a very hygienic way,” they said, adding, “It is boon for poor people like us.”
Supervisor of night shelters, Vishwas Vajpayee , said that there is a tender for supplying the food and the bill is paid by the government. The rice and wheat are provided by the government at Rs 1 per kg, while the other stuff like oil, vegetables are purchased from the open market. The food is prepared in a smart kitchen in Khajrana and then transported at all three Raen Baseras.
Dharmendra Mevada who is in-charge of Gadi Adda Raen Basera said, “Being the cleanest city of the country, we have to maintain a certain standard be it in preparing the food or while distributing it. There is no wastage of food and the leftovers are re-distributed to the needy.”