‘Janta Rasoi’, a community initiative by the people of Bhiwani town in Haryana, is feeding as many as 24,000 persons every day, at a time when the country is under lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19.
A group of citizens called ‘Bhiwani Mahapanchayat’ led by a former student leader Sampuran Singh run this ‘Janta Rasoi’ to serve food to the poor.
This initiative is wholly dependent on donations provided by the public. A local woman from a farming family, Inderkaur Sangwan, donated almost a year’s worth of crop to the ‘Janta Rasoi’. Singh said Inderkaur donated 100 quintal wheat and 30 quintal dal to be distributed among the poor. She is the widow of a veterinary surgeon, while her son Ravinder is an officer in the central government.
How it works
The ration is delivered to three prisons in Bhiwani, Jind and Rohtak where chapatis for 21,000 people are cooked with the help of machines. “Rice and dal are cooked at the hostel of an engineering college. Later, all the material is assembled at a place known as ‘Ram Bag’ in Bhiwani. The municipal councilors approach us to get the food, which is further distributed to the poor including daily wagers, migrant labourers and rickshaw pullers in 31 wards of Bhiwani town and a few neighbouring villages,” said Sampuran Singh.
The ‘Insaf Manch’, formed by Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh’s daughter Aarti Rao, on Wednesday sent over 40 quintal wheat flour, 20 quintal rice and 10 quintal dals. According to Singh, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, who was earlier governor of Himachal Pradesh, will send over 20 quintal wheat and a similar quantity of rice to the ‘Janta Rasoi’.
“This material will be supplied from Acharya’s gurukul in Kurukshetra,” said Singh while speaking to The Indian Express. Before he was appointed governor of Himachal Pradesh in 2015, Acharya Devvrat had been running a gurukul, which also houses 350 cows.
A few days ago, Bhiwani-Mahendragarh MP Dharambir Singh’s wife Munni Devi had visited the ‘Janta Rasoi’ to donate over 20 quintal rice and 8 quintal of pulses. “Janta Rasoi delivers food to even those people who sometimes miss government help,” Dharambir Singh told The Indian Express.
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