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COVID-19 Lockdown: Going Beyond The Call Of Duty, Delhi Doctors Distribute Meals To Senior Citizens, Migrants

COVID-19 Lockdown: Going Beyond The Call Of Duty, Delhi Doctors Distribute Meals To Senior Citizens, Migrants
Some Delhi doctors are helping over 20,000 people stranded due to coronavirus lockdown by serving food


  1. Along with distributing food doctors are also raising awareness
  2. Doctors urge people to leave their differences and help each other
  3. They are also distributing masks, soaps and a kit of dry ration
New Delhi: 

Unprecedented times demand extraordinary efforts, and for some, this may even mean going beyond the call of their duty and undertake initiatives to provide relief. Some doctors from the Department of Geriatric Medicine, All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) are doing just that. After more than 10 hours shift at the hospital, they go out daily to serve cooked meals and raise awareness among those who are stranded on the streets and in slums of Delhi because of the nationwide lockdown that was enforced on March 24 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curtail the spread of coronavirus infection. While talking to NDTV about the initiative, Dr. Vijay Kumar, assistant professor in the Department of Geriatric medicine at AIIMS said,

This is a voluntary effort from doctors at AIIMS and other doctors too. Being in the medical profession, we know how important nutrition is in these critical conditions for poor people, especially the elderlies. We are providing cooked meals to old age homes, slum dwellers and migrants labourers who are trying to survive the current coronavirus crisis and the lockdown. We are receiving support from many individuals also who reach out to us through social media and a special helpline that we are running with the help of a non-government organisation ‘Healthy Aging India' founded by my colleague Dr. Prasun Chatterjee in 2013 with an aim to improve elderly care in society. People are contributing with time, money and raw material for this cause.

Since March 27, Dr Prasun Chatterjee, an associate professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine, also the founder and President of the NGO Healthy Aging India, with his team of volunteers, has distributed over 50,000 one-time large meals. According to Dr. Kumar, the food is cooked by some volunteers in a kitchen owned by the NGO. It mainly includes ‘Khichri' made from rice, lentils and vegetables. He said,

With support from our volunteers, we try to provide food to whosoever calls. Almost every day we provide food to 2,000-3,000 new people. Our team has been visiting old age homes, slums, homes for persons with disabilities and even rag-pickers' colonies to distribute food to save them from starvation.

Chanda, a woman from rag-picker community living in a slum of Rohini sector 19 said that things were getting out hand as her family of five was on the verge of starving, the ration at home was getting over and savings have dried up too. A local social activist came forward to help them and connected them with the doctors. She said,

When we received ‘khichri', I thanked them many times because I felt that my family will survive. Now, many people in our area are getting cooked food every day with help of the NGO.

According to the doctors, they have been receiving many calls requesting for food from various parts of Delhi. The doctors and their team of volunteers are also distributing milk to almost 300 infants and children below five years every day in two slums located in Prem Nagar and Rohini sector 23.

Apart from conducting feeding drives at various locations every day, the doctors and their team of volunteers have also been distributing masks, soaps and a kit of dry ration including sanitary napkins to the needy families.  They are also sensitising communities about social distancing, hand washing and respiratory etiquettes.

Dr. Kumar asserted that they also try to promote peace and harmony among people. He signed off saying,

We tell them that they need to protect themselves and others too. It is the time we leave our differences behind and unite. It is us against coronavirus now.

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