Free meals for labourers;  Good Samaritans offer food as city shuts

Mumbai: Social distancing in today's time may be a necessary evil, however, the most impacted are the daily wage labourers in the city. The sudden closure has hit them hard and has also impacted the small eateries which supplied food to them. However, some good samaritans in the city have come forward and supplied food to such needy people.

Hundreds of workers were fed at various places in Mumbai and its suburbs and also in neighbouring New Mumbai.

One such good samaritan - Anup Puri, owner Sheetal Arch Catering Sevices told the Free Press Journal that he along with his team provided food for over 250 persons in New Mumbai. "We prepared food for nearly 300 persons and sent it to Vashi, Panvel, Nerul Sanpada and other places in the city. This would be repeated even in the evening," added Puri.

"We had decided to prepare food and accordingly circulated the plan on social media. A few NGOs stepped in to help us deliver the food packets. We took their help so as to avoid any kind of gathering," informed Puri.

According to Puri, several daily wagers personally dropped in to take away the food packets. "A few watchmen, dhobis, maids, construction site workers and labourers had come personally. They picked up food packets and also took some for their families and colleagues," informed Puri.

A similar scenario was witnessed in Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar, wherein the Raza Academy fed over 100 labourers in its office. "As none of the hotels in the vicinity were open and as there were too many labourers, we decided to feed them. Accordingly, we called them in our office and served over 100 labourers in the afternoon," said Muhammad Saeed Noori, the president of Raza Academy.

Noori further informed that the academy would provide food even on Sunday when the entire city would be observing the Janta Curfew, as appealed by the Prime Minister. "We are supporting the Janta Curfew and we will follow it. We will also ensure that the relatives of the patients admitted in city's JJ hospital and other hospitals also get food. So, we have decided to provide meals to them, both in noon and evening," Noori said.

"Our estimation is to provide food to nearly 300 such persons on Sunday. Apart from this, we have appealed the community members to cook extra food in their homes and feed at least one outsider," concluded Noori.

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Free Press Journal