A corporate social responsibility initiative by Chennai-based pharmaceutical company Tablets India ensures the needy are not going hungry.
Every day, more than 1,000 people are provided food free-of-cost at the Annadhanam centres run by Tablets India Foundation, the company’s CSR arm. The centres at Tondiarpet and MKB Nagar in Vysarpadi were the first to open as far as Chennai goes. A centre in Ashok Nagar came up later. A centre operates in Mamallapuram as well.
A press release about the initiative listed some of the highlights: The systematic manner in which tokens are issued and the hygienic conditions maintained in the kitchen and dining areas.
“We issue tokens from 9.30 a.m. to 11.45 a.m. to get a rough estimate on the number of people that we can expect for lunch, though we never turn away a person without it,” says TG Srinivasan, special officer of the Annadhanam centres.
He says the venue at Ashok Nagar witnesses the greatest footfall: around 450 on an average. “A trust has given us space to run this service where we only meet the maintenance expenses,” says Srinivasan. While the space at Tondiarpet is attached to the factory, the one at Mamallapuram is attached to a temple.
Full meals is offered for lunch and it includes rice, vegetables, sambar, rasam and buttermilk. Lunch is served in a banana leaf. “One day in a week, sweet is served as an accompaniment to lunch,” he says.
Srinivasan notes this service was started in 2019 to ensure people have at least one full meal a day. “Apart from the underprivileged, we see many people on the move including delivery operators benefiting from these centres,” says Srinivasan, adding that the food is prepared in the respective centres and served fresh and hot.