Aashutosh Gokhale

This experience has shown me a new world, that although I am a part of, I never paid enough attention to. I have learned to acknowledge the privilege that I am blessed with. It is a liberating experience

Sometimes when on relief work, people recognize me even thoughI’m wearing a mask. They ask for photos and autographs. I oblige because itbrings a smile on their faces. But more importantly, it helps fellow volunteersget some extra support from police and other administrative personnel. But tobe honest, if left to me, I would like to entirely focus on my work when I amon the ground.

I start my day by serving food in the slums on my route. Then Ihead to the distribution round on the highway or the railway station to servemigrants going back to their villages. When I reach home late at night at 2 AMor 3 AM, no matter how tiring the day was, I am motivated to come back the nextday. I have experienced long days and nights of shoots. Still, I have neversensed this level of energy within me, that too consistently for many weeks,day after day. Two days back, it was my birthday. I celebrated it with fellowninjas at midnight at Lokmanaya Tilak Terminus by serving people leaving Mumbaion a late-night, Shramik Express train. It was the most fulfilling birthday Iever had.

This experience has taught me so much. It has shown me a newworld, that although I am a part of, I never paid enough attention to. I havelearned to acknowledge the privilege that I am blessed with. It is a liberatingexperience. I wish that everyone gets to explore the freedom that one feelswhen serving those who are not as lucky. I am thankful that I have got thischance.

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Khaana Chahiye Foundation is a
non-profit organization based in Mumbai. It aims to combat the issue of hunger through relief efforts and advocacy initiatives. The organization started as a relief operation during the Covid-19 lockdown in Mumbai and became one of the most extensive crisis management operations in the city.

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