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Despite the lockdown, it has been busy two months for Omprakash Saharan, a sub-divisional officer (SDO) in Jaipur district’s Chaksu, and his wife.
The couple wakes up at 4 am and cuts 23-24 kg vegetables and makes rotis with the help of their cook. Saharan’s wife, Vikas, also cooks rice and then puts the prepared food into small packets.
Later their two daughters Navya and Purva join in help. The family spends around six hours in the kitchen to prepare. At 10 am, the SDO leaves home with the packed food for 121 needy people.
The lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus has led to a humanitarian crisis which the state has struggled to handle.
As stranded workers and poor families run out of food, cash and patience, Saharan along with his wife has stepped in this wide breach.
Making hundreds of rotis and kilos of vegetables for these needy people has been a daily routine for Vikas for more 60 days now. The couple spends around Rs 5,000 per day to buy the food items.
“We are from a farmer’s family, so, we get wheat from our village. Rest is bought from the market by my husband. In total, we make 484 rotis daily. This feels good as the poor people get help. Sometimes when my husband is busy I go distribute the food myself in a car,” Vikas said.
“When the lockdown was announced, I couldn’t just watch the plight of the migrant workers. I appealed to many temple and gurudwaras but to come forward to help them but to no avail. When I shared my desire to provide food the migrants with basic need like food, the wife didn’t give a second thought. She said she would make as much food as she can. That is how it all started.
“To begin with, we distributed food packets to 100 people. Now, we are providing them to 121 people. Each packet contains four rotis and vegetables. At times, we make rice in place of rotis. It wouldn’t have been possible without my wife,” Saharan said.
The family started the service on March 23 and has been constantly trying to raise awareness about the disease through social media and appealing to people to provide food to at least two poor people in their vicinity.
“We are campaigning through social media and motivating others to feed at least two needy people. We will continue the work till the lockdown is lifted and people are in desperate,” the sub-divisional officer said.