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.
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.
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.
'The smile on their faces when I hand them over hot, freshly cooked meals - Priceless!'
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.
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.”
'When I realized that we were delivering food to people just like me, this became more than just work'
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.
''अगर हम घर से निकलेंगे तो किसि और के घर का चुल्ह जलेगा। Only if we step out, will someone’s stove light up"
My experience in multiple kitchens of Khaanachahiye was full of challenges. But every time, we overcame them, because all of us are wholly committed to this cause. If we, as a society, fight the pandemic in the same spirit, I believe that we shall overcome this challenge too.
On 24th March, when the lockdown was announced, I became anxious because lockdown meant no business But soon, I realized that there were people whose predicament was far worse than mine
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
When we started distributing, some people came forward voluntarily and said that they have ration left for a few days. And that there are people in the interiors of the slum who are poorer than them. "वो हमसे गरिब हैं" they say. Can you imagine that? People with only two or three days of ration left, refusing the food we were offering. Instead, asking us to serve others whom they know are in a worse situation.