Food on Wheels to hit the road again in Kochi

Food on Wheel electric autorickshaws parked at a ground at Kalamassery. Since the vehicles are battery-powered, their period of idling during the lockdown had resulted in technical problems, and they are being rectified.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Food on Wheels, a programme for sustainable self-employment for women under the Kudumbashree Mission with the backing of the Kalamassery Municipality and the National Urban Livelihood Mission has survived a trial by fire to come through two lockdowns, one following close on the heels of the launch of the programme in early 2020.

The custom-made electric autorickshaws with modern kitchens have been idling through the months of COVID-19 restrictions on economic activities. Of the nine autorickshaws, at least three will hit the roads early next week, said Priya Babu, member of the Kalamassery Municipal Council from Ward 35 (Koonamthai) and team leader for the programme that aims to provide tasty and quality food under hygienic conditions like the much popular ‘thattukadas’ across the State.

Each of the units comprised five women entrepreneurs, and they had received training in management of food services. The units have also received Food Safety and Standards Authority of India licence.

Kudumbashree sources said since the autorickshaws are battery-powered, the period of idling during the lockdown had resulted in some problems, which are being rectified. The Kudumbashree Mission also plans to provide financial backing for the revival of the Food on Wheels programme considering that the food units were popular and had registered good customer response.

Ms. Priya said the specially designed autorickshaws had been lying idle for eight to 10 months after the initial success because of pandemic restrictions. The batteries had been down, and their guarantee period is over, which entail fresh investments in getting the power units working again, she added.

The Food on Wheels programme had also drawn attention to its sustainable energy mode of operations. Each of the units had solar panels to light up the food units at night, as they were operated mostly between 6.30 p.m. and 2 a.m.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 6:18:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/food-on-wheels-to-hit-the-road-again-in-kochi/article37605237.ece

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