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Here's How A Trio From Bengaluru Is Feeding Daily Wage Workers During The Coronavirus Lockdown

Here's How A Trio From Bengaluru Is Feeding Daily Wage Workers During The Coronavirus Lockdown

Highlights

  1. Feed My Bangalore was started with an idea of serving 500 meals a day
  2. Feed My Bangalore has been recreated in Hyderabad, Noida, Chennai, Mumbai
  3. Feed My Bangalore has served over 7 lakh meals in 5 cities (April 12)
New Delhi: 

Battling with a pandemic with a lockdown has brought with it many challenges, one of them is the loss of livelihood of many people in the unorganised sector. When the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of migrant labourers and daily wage earners started heading back to their native places from cities due to loss of job and place to live. With little to no money in their pocket and uncertainty over how to put food on their table, this reverse migration became an urgent issue for governments to handle. In this crisis situation, three friends from Bengaluru - Juggy Marwaha, K Ganesh and Venkat K Narayana got together to start ‘Feed My Bangalore' initiative to provide meals to the families of daily wage earners.

Also Read: How Zomato's Feeding India Initiative Is Making Life Better For Daily Wage Workers Amid The Lockdown

Bengaluru, the IT capital of India has a wide range of migrant workers - labourers working in construction and real estate and the ones working in the software business. The big challenge has been to feed people deployed in the construction business. Talking about how Bengaluru as a city has responded to the crisis, Venkat K Narayana, co-founder of Feed My Bangalore and Chief Executive Officer at Prestige Group said,

Most of the developers, especially in Bengaluru are very responsible. They were able to take care of all their employees and labourers at the site, and provide ration to them. The problem is not with daily wagers who have got employers, there are many daily wagers who are self-employed, and there are some employers who are not taking care of migrant workers.

Also Read: #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 Telethon: Experts, Celebrities, Sports Personalities, Social Workers Come Together To Fight Coronavirus

Speaking at the Dettol-NDTV #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 telethon on April 12, Juggy Marwaha, co-founder of Feed My Bangalore and Executive Managing Director of JLL India recalled the idea behind the initiative and said,

Two days before the Prime Minister announced the lockdown, we three got on a call and decided we need to do something and give it back to the cities that have given us everything in our lives. We decided to help whoever we could and start by serving 500 meals per day.

The team started distribution of freshly prepared meals from March 27. What started with the idea of serving 500 meals per day has now turned into providing over 92,000 meals a day. Also, though the initiative started from Bengaluru, the team is now covering Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Noida as well. Talking about what lead to the expansion of the idea and how did it turn into a campaign, Mr Marwaha said,

This has only been possible because of the love and affection for other people and people who helped out in this initiative. We just got together.

Also Read: BSF Distributes Ration To Daily Wage Labourers In Jammu And Kashmir's Pulwama Amid Lockdown

Further talking about the response of the beneficiaries and how the team ensures precautionary and preventive measures likes social distancing is followed at the time of distribution of meals, Mr Narayana said,

On day one and two of food distribution, people used to come running behind our food trucks because they were so hungry - they had not eaten in 24-36 hours. We gave them an assurance that no, it's not just a one-day affair. We are going to be with you till the lockdown is over and maybe a week longer, till you guys are on your own feet. Now, when our food trucks go there, people are much disciplined, they maintain social distancing and everybody is complying with the rule.

Thee meals are prepared in commercial kitchens, packed and transported to specific locations where they are distributed while maintaining a safe social distance.

This way, as of April 12, the trio and the team has served over 7 lakh (7,35,372) meals since the lockdown. The outreach of the programme is increasing with each passing day and it's evident with the daily rise in the number of meals. For instance, on April 10, 84,021 meals were served and in just two days on April 12, the number shot up to 92,865.

Also Read: COVID-19: Students Turn Good Samaritans For Women In West Bengal, Helping Them Get Sanitary Pads Amid Lockdown

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