Furkhan Khan

'When I realized that we were delivering food to people just like me, this became more than just work'

I work as a supervisor at Hey Deedee.When the lockdown started, the company asked me if I wantedto continue working by delivering food packets for khaanchahiye, with whomHeyDeeDee has a tie-up. I agreed then because I didn't want my salary to stop.But when I realized that we were delivering food to people just like me, thisbecame more than just work. You see, I hail from Osmanabad and came to Mumbailooking for work.

I start every day at 8:00 AM,complete around two hours of company work, and then headto the khaanachahiye's dispatch center in Bandra. My route consistsof areas like. I finish the distribution of approximately a thousandpackets, covering Mahim, Dharavi, Sion, and Wadala, driving almost fortykilometers. I reach back home around 3:00 PM, clean-up, and sanitize myselfwith a bath and have my lunch. I head out againfor the evening-distribution of another thousand meals. Once that isdone, after completing a few work-related deliveries, I reach home by 8:30 PMand go through the sanitization process again. This has been myroutine for the past month, from the day khaanachahiyestarted food distribution."

You've been working for more thantwelve hours outdoors every day for a month, and you didn't feel like taking abreak?

"Well, I agree that it is alittle hectic. I'm unable to keep my Ramadan-fasts because of this work,especially since it is summer, and I have to stay out for so long. But as Isaid this has become far more than a job now. In fact, the thoughtthat I am helping a thousand others to keep their fasts by delivering eveningmeals brings me peace. Both my company and khaanachahiye suggested that I catcha break. But if I am taking a break, it will be to take my kids toOsmanabad. My parents, who live there, are terrified about the factthat I am stepping out daily. Before lockdown, they used to call me not morethan twice a week, but now I get calls from them three or four timesa day. They want at least my kids to be sent to Osmanabad. Buttill the district borders open up, I can't do that. My parents keepsaying that I shouldn't go out like this. But I try tomake them understand that this is both work and service for me.

Hopefully, the lockdownwill be over by the 3rd, and I shall take my kids to my parents. Ishall catch an extended break then

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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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