Saumil Bharani

Two days after my brother reached home, all trains across the country were stopped. If he hadn't gotten on that train that day, he would have been stranded thousands of kilometers away from home, as a migrant. So when I got the opportunity to volunteer to feed migrants in my own city, I just couldn't resist.

I take care of the distribution in what is called the S3 zone for Khaana Chahiye. We cover several interior spots in Mahim, Dharavi, Kurla,Chembur & Govandi. We started off with just 300 packets on the route. Today, three cars in this route distribute more than 2000 food-packets a day. We collectively cover over 100 kilometers in 3 hours.I have been on this route every day for the past two weeks.

 "Don't you feel like taking a break?"

 Break?Well, this is my break. From the day the lockdown was announced, I had tried to put my time into something useful. I'm an accountant by profession. But like others, I can't work from home. I chanced upon multiple articles on the migrant crisis including one in the Hindustan Times about the work Khaana Chahiye was doing. Since then, I've wanted to help out. But I can't cook. So the only way I could be of some use is by distributing food prepared by others. I got that opportunity here.

 I had another motivation too. My brother, who studies in a premium MBA college, had his community service assignment in a remote village in Madhya Pradesh in March. As the COVID situation progressed, in the third week of March, his college advised him to get back home. But the nearest railway station from his place was an hour away. Even after trying through all possible sources, we were not getting tickets to Mumbai. Somehow we managed to get a ticket for a train leaving on 21st March, a day before the Janta Curfew. He reached Mumbai on the day of Janta curfew. Dad and I went to pick him up from the railway station. There was no one on the road on the way. I would have counted less than 5 cars during our drive. When we reached the station, the police deployed there told us that we couldn't go in. My brother had a lot of luggage. He had to drag it from the platform to the entrance. But luckily, his train halted in the first platform.

 Two days after my brother reached home, all trains across the country were stopped. If he hadn't gotten on that train that day, he would have been stranded thousands of kilometers away from home, as a migrant. So when I got the opportunity to volunteer to feed migrants in my own city, I just couldn't resist

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Saumil Bharani

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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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contact@khaanachahiye.com
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