Students of New Public School, Sector 18, joined hands with SACH Foundation in the launch of Roti Bank Helpline, a helpline started to ensure food for underprivileged children across Tricity.
Anyone interested to donate food can call or leave a WhatsApp message on the helpline number, 9729798245. Thereafter, SACH Foundation will send its volunteers to the donor’s home to collect the food, which will then be delivered to the underprivileged children.
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The foundation also provides free education to 200 slum children. Sunita Sharma, founder, SACH Foundation, told the Chandigarh Newsline: “It’s a voluntary effort by the people. Those who can spare two chapattis or have any excess food in the house can call us. People can also donate more than once in a day. Our helpline number is available from 11am to 11pm. We are ready to collect food beyond the given time as long as it feeds a hungry child.”
On the quality of food and safety measures, Sharma said: “We will always smell and taste the food donated to us before it reaches the children. If we find the quality of food to be objectionable, we will ensure extra precautions before collecting food from the same person again. Once the food is collected, it is stored in refrigerators so that it quality is maintained.”
Vivek Mehra, director, SACH Foundation, said: “At present, we have a team of 15-20 members. However, we are planning to increase it soon by involving volunteers from schools and colleges. We are also trying to collaborate with doctors to ensure only safe food reaches the children.”
Talking about being the first school to collaborate with Roti Bank, vice-principal of New Public School Sushma Jeriyal said: “It’s a unique initiative and we encourage our students and teachers to be a part of it voluntarily by bringing an extra tiffin or food everyday. Fifteen of them have brought food today (Friday) for the children. Apart from this, our school and hostel mess will also provide the excess food everyday to Roti Bank.”
The students were happy to share their meals with the slum children. “We always look at good social work done by people. But, this is our time to provide something to the children. Besides, making a little extra food harms no household and we feel extremely satisfied to share our food with these children,” said Ashwin, a student of Class IX.
Roti Bank plans to remove the food disparity by collecting food from hotels, caterers and public in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and Zirkpur. “We have tied up with hotels like Altius, Maya, Kelong, Western Court, Royal Caterers, Vohra Tent and Rawat Caterers. New Public School is the first school we have collaborated with. We plan to extend our network to other schools too,” Sharma said. “We have identified the slum areas across Tricity through surveys and will provide the collected food to the children there,” she added.