This wonderful news comes to us from Puducherry, India.
The deserted beaches of Puducherry are a stark reminder of the magnitude of the COVID-19 scare in India and also most parts of the world. However, a local resident, Sashi Kanta Dash who is the principal of a local college, has completed 40 days of serving food to the elderly in need.
Principal of Tagore Government Arts and Science College in Pondicherry, he has been serving hot meals to the people who are confined to their homes in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, with local lockdowns being enforced.
Dash says, “It had been my dream to give back to the society and the nation. My soul guided me to take the first step. I took the initiative of channelizing the positive energy of the local people and started with feeding 250 people on day one.”
Dr. Dash, a PhD, continues, “We didn’t know the extent of the lockdown when it was announced for the first time on March 24TH. But the immense satisfaction at the end of the first day catalyzed the actions for the future.”
Dr. Dash started with a Whatsapp group of senior citizens who due to the lockdown were unable to visit pharmacies for their medicine. He started to deliver medicines to the elderly who were on self –quarantine. After that, for around 15 days Dash was involved in bringing families packets of essential supplies like sugar, rice, oil, salt, vegetables and lentils.
Slowly but surely, the word spread that Dash was doing good work, and a few local organizations came forward to support his efforts. A helpline number was also set up to field the calls for help that were increasing every day.
Dash’s mind was ticking over with ideas to help the populace, and he then turned to the section of the populace which was dependent on the alms offered by places of worship and other commercial and public places. He expanded his operation to include the villagers within a 10 km radius of Pondicherry.
The kitchen in the campus of his college is one of the kitchens that are being used to cook piping hot food for the people and the team of volunteers delivers groceries for 600-700 families as well as caters to 250 people of 15 different villages.
Dash is proud to have been able to serve the community in so fundamental a way. He signs off by saying, “We have entered the 40th day of food distribution and more than 10,000 meals have been served. The food is prepared under the supervision of volunteers to ensure quality, hygiene and nutritional content. We have a group of 20 dedicated volunteers who have come forward to extend their support.”
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