Gurugram resident Atul Kapur believes that people should not be deprived of nutritious food just because they cannot afford it. So he, along with Manika Badhwar and her husband Ashim Badhwar, founded Rasoi On Wheels.
The NGO provides freshly cooked, nutritious, and as their tagline reads, ‘ghar jaisa khana’ to the underserved communities in and around Delhi and Gurugram.
“We feed about 2,000-2,500 people with fresh food prepared in our centralised kitchens. We distribute this food to pre-determined places, including outside hospitals, slums, and government schools (mid-day meals for children), among other places,” Atul says.
Atul says he often gets requests from restaurants to distribute the leftover food of the day. However, since its freshness cannot be determined, it chooses not to distribute it. Instead, it prepares fresh meals for the underserved.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Rasoi On Wheels had initially stopped operating as most other businesses. However, the NGO received an e-pass to distribute cooked meals, with support from the Delhi government, which also requested the organisation to provide 3000-4000 meals in a day.
In fact, it went on to distribute close to 20,000 meals every day to those in need, especially migrant workers travelling back to their hometowns. The vans were stationed at places where more people gathered, waiting to travel back.
With the second wave, the NGO has also set up a 100-bed isolation facility for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who are less critical.
“This was set up last year but has become more active now. Besides lodging, we also provide food to them,” says Atul, adding that the patients can stay at the facility until they are recovered.
It has procured about eight oxygen concentrators and aims to procure more in the coming days. These concentrators are also provided to those in emergencies.
Additionally, it continues to distribute meals to those waiting outside hospitals, especially those waiting for beds, test results, and the underprivileged.
By Anju Ann Mathew from YourStory
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