Kerala

In Alappuzha, floating supermarket brings essentials to the doorstep of lockdown-affected

Kudumbashree store on boat comes to the aid of Kainakary residents

Kudumbashree, the State’s women neighbourhood collective, has made its presence felt in diverse fields. When the State launched its fight against COVID-19 pandemic, Kudumbashree joined the front line by making masks and sanitisers, preparing and serving food through its community kitchens, information sharing and so on.

Now, members of two Kudumbashree units in Kainakary grama panchayat in Kuttanad have joined hands to come up with a floating supermarket, Thanima, to cater to hundreds of families affected by the lockdown, imposed following COVID-19, in a place surrounded by water.

Group of five

The group of five — Preetha Shine, Kavitha Anil, Preetha Manikuttan, Archana Somasekharan and Salilamma Bhasuran — has rented a boat and turned it into a floating store.

From April 2, the boat cruises the Pampa river every day offering consumers a new shopping experience with multi-brand products, including rice, locally produced vegetables, spices, egg, fruits, snacks, beverages, dried fish, non-food items to name a few.

“Prior to the lockdown, we used to run a Kudumbashree vegetable sales outlet at Pooppally. But the lockdown forced us to close the shop. In the meantime, people in the area started to find it difficult to buy essentials as they have to travel long distances. We raised the idea of a floating supermarket with our CDS chairperson, who took it with the panchayat authorities.

After receiving the nod from the panchayat, we rented a boat, together raised ₹1.5 lakh and bought various products. Response from the public to the initiative is immense as they no longer need to row a boat to buy essentials,” says Preetha.

The floating supermarket connects at least eight places in the area, including Patel Jetty, Malechira, Kochugovindan Jetty, Palli Jetty etc.

Before starting from the Panchayat Kadavu, approximate time of the boat’s arrival at respective boat jetties will be sent to mobile phones of members of neighbourhood groups, local ward members among others, which helps the people to come and buy commodities without waiting long.

Prasanth Babu J., Kudumbashree District Mission Coordinator, says the initiative is turning out to be a success and the group is conducting good business.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 6:14:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/floating-supermarket-brings-essentials-to-the-doorstep-of-lockdown-affected/article31264618.ece

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