Stories Behind the Mask

A series where we bring you stories of the #Khaanachahiye food ninjas, our on-ground partners and the people who we serve, who all are together in this fight against COVID-19.

All of these stories were captured by K.N. Karthikeyan
Parth Sarthi Shukla
Lead, Ground Operations

I believe if we want to help, we can help even one person and fulfil our duty. और पता है क्या, मुझे ना नींद बहुत अच्छी आती है.

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Karthikeyan KN
Volunteer, Khaana chahiye

Throughout the day, the station would be filled with nearly 1 to 1.5 lakh migrants eager to reach their homes. It was so crowded that the lines of masses waiting for their trains would extend to the top of the flyover connected to the station. I’ve witnessed some heartbreaking scenes there........

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Neeraj Shetye
Volunteer, Khaana Chahiye

My phone number essentially became a hunger helpline – it was shared as a Covid helpline as a part of many toolkits. Sometimes I got calls as late as 3 AM and I woke up to at least 35 missed calls a day in March and April 2021. I tried my best to answer as many calls as possible. We faced a harsh reality that our city, state and country do not have a functional crisis management system.

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Mithila Naik-Satam
Volunteer, Khaana Chahiye

when I stepped on-field, I responded with my camera - I wanted to speak and document the people who had started their journey back home on foot. Most times I didn’t have the heart to continue to shoot; when they started to share their stories.....

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Anand Masrani
Food Ninja, Western Suburbs

The following post was penned by Anand as a part of his Instagram call for action. Anand's reflections are based on his experience on the ground during the relief operation in 2021 during the second wave of Covid-19 in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

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Saumil Bharani
Food Ninja, S3 Route

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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Ankeet Shah
Food Ninja, Dispatch S1-S4 Routes

'The smile on their faces when I hand them over hot, freshly cooked meals - Priceless!'

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Dr. Deepti Naik
Food Ninja, S1 route

I didn’t think much of the fact that I was a newbie in the city. I just took my car and, with the help of a fellow volunteer and Google maps, started distributing food to the needy, five days a week.

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Ahmed Sheikh
Community Organizer, S3 route

रिज़्क तक़दीर का,खुद उड़के चला आता है, पर जो दिया है, मेरे मालिक ने, हर एक दाने को । That's what you are bringing us - Food blessed by the divine. There is no service higher than this.”

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Furkhan Khan
Food Ninja, S3 route

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

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Sufyan Shaikh
Food Ninja, S1 Route

There were three or four of us at the beginning, now we have more than a hundred volunteers. वो कहते है ना, लोग जुङते गए और कारवां बनता गया । As more ninjas came along, the caravan got longer.

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Nitin Phalke
Frontliner, Essential Service Provider

''अगर हम घर से निकलेंगे तो किसि और के घर का चुल्ह जलेगा। Only if we step out, will someone’s stove light up"

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We are grateful for your past support, which enabled us to realise our ambitious goals. As we persist in our mission, your renewed sponsorships sustain the continuous operation of our community kitchens, ensuring that essential meals continue to reach those in need.

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Khaana Chahiye Foundation traces its origins to a citizen-led food-relief effort during Mumbai's Covid-19 lockdown, evolving into one of the city's largest crisis management initiatives. Today, it persists in its mission to combat hunger through various relief and advocacy efforts.

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