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NGO OXFAM India Provides Relief In Mumbai By Distributing Cooked Meals

Mumbai: As the country prepares for an extended lockdown, daily wage labourers and construction workers, those who earn their daily expenses for food by working each day are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Cooking a meal is a luxury for most of them as they simply don't have money. Which is why organisations like OXFAM are stepping in to distribute cooked food to help the marginalised sections of society survive the lockdown including places like Govandi in Mumbai where food is being distributed to 250 daily wage earners. ​

 ​Daily wage earners have been hit most hard as COVID-19 continues to spread in India. With no work, there's no income, whether it's an auto driver or a construction worker. In Sainagar in Mumbai's Govandi area, a settlement of construction workers and daily wage earners, a simple meal of just Dal, Roti, Rice and Vegetables is often a luxury. Those who live here have a hand to mouth existence and have been hit the hardest by the lockdown. With families to look after, moving to a government shelter is also not an option for them. But at least they won't go without a proper meal as local NGOs provide cooked meals for them with support from Oxfam.​

 ​Raj Shashikant Patil, a volunteer told NDTV,

The people who live in Sainagar have a hand to mouth existence. They earn in the day to eat in the evening. 

To provide them with food, Shahshikant Patil and Samaj Vikas Sanstha are distributing food with help from Oxfam India. Sarita Anil Sawant, a beneficiary says,

Right now it's a huge problem for us. We don't have basics like Rice, Wheat and Potatoes and onions. Shahshikant bhai gave potatoes, and onions and vegetables and now we are getting food also. What do we do? Everyone is sitting at home. How will we cook? Only if we have groceries we can cook. Right now we have got food from these people. We are managing with this.

 ​Sarika Ramdas, a beneficiary says,

Our troubles started as soon as the lockdown started. Now, at least 250 to 300 people are being fed here daily.

Deepak Dhopal, who is coordinating this effort says,

Oxfam India is sponsoring Samaj Vikas Sanstha's efforts to provide meals to slum dwellers. We are providing over 200 food packets every day and we have started from today. In Sainagar the migrants and daily wage earners are from other parts of Maharashtra. They work daily and live off their daily wages and for the last few days, they have no income.

 ​Mr Dhopal tells NDTV with this support they are going to expand the food distribution programme to 14 other settlements where daily wage earners live. For slum dwellers like these, it is impossible at this time to cook at home. Not only is it an unaffordable expense but also a matter of survival. Which is why when cooked food like this is delivered to them where they stay, it's an intervention that actually ends up addressing one of the most pressing issues of the day - poverty-driven hunger.  ​

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