People Chennai

Kindness comes home on a platter

Grateful for the timely help she received, Samika Javare is offering just that kind of help to others.

Resident of a working women’s hostel in Thoraipakkam, Samika Javare provides free breakfast to COVID-19 positive people, doing this charity along with her friend and hostel-mate Arpitha Sankar.

“When my parents (residents of Bengaluru) were down with COVID-19, I found someone who would supply them with food for 10 days. She refused to take any money for it. Inspired, I have started offering COVID-19 patients free breakfast. Arpitha and I do this service together,” says 26-year-old Samika, employed at a manufacturing company on Old Mahabalipuram Road. “We are not good at cooking, and so we constantly check out YouTube videos. We generally make idli, rice dosa, kambu dosa, pesarattu dosa and pudina parathas; and also, beetroot juice and spinach soup. We start cooking by 5 a.m. and ensure the food is delivered by 9 a.m,” says 27-year-old Arpitha Sankar, a soft-skills trainer whose home town is in Coimbatore. Their initiative is financially supported by their relatives, friends and colleagues.

“In fact, I returned from Coimbatore this April to vacate the hostel, as I have found a new job in Bengaluru, though I will be working from my home in Coimbatore. As many of our well-wishers trusted us and have made donations towards this cause, I am staying back and continuing with this service for some more time. We are reaching out to COVID-19 positive people on OMR, with the first priority being senior citizens living alone and also the underprivileged. For these people, we do away with the delivery charges. We now cater to nearly 70 patients every day.” says Arpitha. The duo can be reached via WhatsApp on 93454 01353.

‘Blessing is the reward’

For a couple of weeks, Latha Dubey is sending food to a septuagenarian in Ambattur who has COVID-19. He had found Latha’s phone number and called her.

Latha recalls how anguished he was when he called her for the first time and requested for home food. Without a family member around to take care of him, he is on his own. Latha offers him the food free, doing away with the delivery charges as well.

Latha, a homemaker, considers the generous blessing he receives from this senior as compensation.

“He considers me his daughter,” she says.

Latha cooks and sends vegetarian food — lunch and dinner — to around 70 seniors who are recovering from COVID-19.

“I mainly make rasam sadham, which is said to help when someone has cough and generates phlegm. I prepare different types of rasam: milagu rasam, jeeraga rasam, poondu rasam, kollu rasam and inji rasam. It is accompanied by an easy-to-digest vegetable poriyal. On certain days, instead of rasam, I provide sambar or keerai kootu. Dinner conists of phulkas and dal fry or adai and thuvaiyal,” says Latha, who is 54-years-old.

“My posts about this initative on Facebook have drawn calls from various parts of the world, including United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore and Malaysia, from children of elderly parents living alone in Chennai,” she says.

As a precautionary measure, she wears a mask while cooking. She also spares a thought for the delivery persons.

“I offer water or juice to the delivery boys when they come to collect the food packets. I caution them that the delivery is meant for a COVID-19 patient and hence they should maintain a no-contact delivery,” says Latha.

Inspired by her initiative, two of her friends have started the same service for COVID-19 patients.

“My friends Suresh P Jumani from Egmore and Anisha Chugh from Harrington Road are now cooking food and providing it for free to COVID-19 positive people,” she says, adding that the group is much wider. “Now, we are 25 of us from various parts of Chennai who have formed a WhatsApp group, called “Food for Chennai”

Latha can be reached at 95009 10040.

It is family time

A family that eats together stays together. This family has adding another dimension to it: It is about ‘cooking together’ for COVID-19 positive people.

While Anushree Sarda and her mother-in-law Deepa Sharma handle the major part of the cooking, with Anushree’s husband Utsava Sharma, sister-in-law Ayushi Sharma, and their cousin brother Abhishek Bharadwaj chipping in with tasks such as chopping vegetables and packaging the prepared food. “I was inspired by a person (in Instagram) who was providing food to COVID 19 patients. Hence this initiative. It is two weeks since we started this service, and the response is overwhelming. At present, we reach out to 25 COVID-19 patients in Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam and Palavakkam, to whom we provide lunch and dinner. My father-in-law, Mangat Ram Sharma, Principal Secretary to Government, MSME, Tamil Nadu has been supportive of this cause,” says Anushree, a resident of Neelankarai.

Anushree can be reached at 93606 77476.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:19:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/kindness-comes-home-on-a-platter/article34565088.ece

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