Chennai

A quick bite for those queuing up at hospital

D. Madhavan Chennai 15 May 2021 12:32 IST
Updated: 15 May 2021 12:32 IST

In coordination with 10 personnel from the Kilpauk police station, a non-profit is distributing more than 1,000 meal packets every day at KMC

Recently, 52-year-old K. Valliappan, a marginal farmer from Uthukottai village near Tiruvallur, was seen waiting in the queue at Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) to get Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that is being used in the treatment offered to COVID-19 patients.

Tested positive, his wife had been admitted to the District Headquarters Government Hospital. As he did not have any proxy to maintain his place in the queue, he stood there for a long time, unable to take a break to have his food. Fortunately, a young Armed Reserve (AR) constable gave him a free food packet.

Thanks to city-based Aranya Foundation, those queuing up at KMC to buy the drug will not go hungry.

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In coordination with 10 personnel from the Kilpauk police station, the not-for-profit is distributing more than 1000 meal packets every day.

“The food arrives around 11.30 a.m and we start to distribute it immediately along with a 250 ml water bottle to those waiting in front of the counters, which operate between 7 a.m and 7 p.m.,” says V. Duraipandian, Sub-Inspector (L&O), Kilpauk police station.

Aranya Foundation also provides food to COVID-19 patients at the hospital. The police pitch in by providing water bottles, face masks and other safety kits at the Remdesivir counters.

The Foundation has also been feeding the hungry at other government hospitals, including Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital (Omandurar Government Estate), Government Eye Hospital (Egmore), Adyar Cancer Institute and Sri Ramachandra Medical College Hospital in Porur since March 2020. Last year, they served food to migrant workers and homeless persons. “We prepare the food every morning to ensure the meals are kept fresh. We also have a 24-hour-helpline (044-42997501) with which people can order free food from us. Orders must be placed at least two hours in advance. At present, we focus on areas like Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Nungambakkam, Mylapore and Adyar,” says Shilpam Kapur Rathore, chairperson and managing trustee, Aranya Foundation.

The menu includes idli and sambar, lemon and sambar rice and vegetable pulav. On an average, 2,500 free meal packets were distributed by the Foundation every day in Chennai, especially during the ongoing complete lockdown.

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