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With Over 7 Crore Meals, Akshaya Patra Foundation Is Reaching Out To The Most Vulnerable Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

Akshaya Patra Foundation has been reaching out to daily-wage earners, industrial workers, labourers at construction sites, across the nation, since the lockdown was announced to help them with food kits and cooked meals

With Over 7 Crore Meals, Akshaya Patra Foundation Is Reaching Out To The Most Vulnerable Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic
Highlights
  • Akshaya Patra has been reaching out to people from vulnerable communities
  • The foundation provides cooked meals or food kits consisting dry ration
  • The relief programme is operating in 18 states and 2 UTs

New Delhi: As news of the COVID-19 pandemic transcended borders, nations went into a state of lockdown to curtail its progress, and the process of adjusting to a social-distanced world commenced. The world was now the virus’ battleground and brave healthcare professionals manned the frontlines in this battle, tirelessly tending to the needs of affected individuals. The pandemic has led to major economic distress across the globe, where a large chunk of people are struggling to make ends meet. In such a time, the Akshaya Patra Foundation undertook food assistance to help the vulnerable populations affected by the coronavirus in India. The organisation has now served over 7 crore meals in the from of freshly cooked food and food relief kits with essential groceries, and the programme continues to do so.

The relief programme is being carried on in 18 states and two union territories in association with the State Governments, Union Territories, Administrations and civic authorities, with the support of corporate partners and individual donors.

The relief programme is being carried on in 18 states and two union territories

The relief programme is being carried on in 18 states and two union territories. (Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra Foundation)

Akshaya Patra has been reaching out to people from vulnerable communities, such as daily-wage earners, industrial workers, labourers at construction sites, among others, across the nation, since the last week of March.

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As of July 13, it has served over 3.9 crore freshly cooked meals and 7,44,821 food relief kits—amounting to over 3.1 crore meal servings—totalling over 7.1 crore meals.

Chanchalapthi Dasa, Vice-Chairman, told NDTV,

We have been able to cumulatively serve over 7 crore meals to people in need during this pandemic due to the collaborative efforts of everyone involved. We will continue to work with the Government to provide food assistance to the underserved and vulnerable populations during these difficult times.

The Foundation is leveraging its existing state-of-the-art kitchens in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh to prepare and serve freshly cooked meals through centres assigned by the administration.

As of July 13, it has served over 3.9 crore freshly cooked meals and 7,44,821 food relief kits—amounting to over 3.1 crore meal servings—totalling over 7.1 crore meals

As of July 13, it has served over 3.9 crore freshly cooked meals and 7,44,821 food relief kits—amounting to over 3.1 crore meal servings—totalling over 7.1 crore meals. (Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra Foundation)

Simultaneously, it is distributing food relief kits to vulnerable communities in these states as well as in Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In states where the organisation does not have any existing kitchen infrastructure, relief feeding was extended from the nearest kitchen in the neighbouring state. The contents of these kits are based on the local palate of the region with each kit having dry ration sufficient to cook 42 or 28 meals.

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In India, one of the worst affected regions was Karnataka’s historic Mysuru district, which was overwhelmed with multiple positive cases. Undeterred, its medical professionals STUCK to the task.

On a daily basis, we had about 70 new patients, Dr Rajesh, a resident medical officer at the District Hospital in Mysuru told NDTV.

With a dedicated set of healthcare workers and the cooperation of the administrative body, everything was running smoothly, but a major hurdle soon emerged. Initially, patients were being provided meals by caterers who, unfortunately, fell within the newly charted containment zone.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is leveraging its existing state-of-the-art kitchens (Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra Foundation)

Seeking possible solutions to feed people and help in their speedy recovery, Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru, Abhiram G Sankar, who had visited Akshaya Patra’s kitchen in the district, sought out the Foundation to conduct relief feeding for infected patients.

During the lockdown period, when there was nothing available, Akshaya Patra Foundation fed us very well. The food, quality and hygiene was very good, and the quantity was always sufficient. says Dr Rajesh.

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Initially, the Foundation was providing cooked meals of rice and Sambhar to the patients and the staff of the hospital. After noticing that more than 50 per cent of the population were people above the age of 50 years and prone to diabetes, Akshaya Patra’s kitchens began serving Chapatis and Palya.

It has been about two months since Akshaya Patra commenced the relief feeding operations in the District Hospital, Mysuru.

On February 14, 29 men from MV 78 village of Malkangiri district, Odisha, arrived in Bangalore. A native from their village had found them employment as contract labourers in Electronic City. However, when the lockdown was imposed, they got stuck, miles away from their family. One of these migrant workers, Prahalad Biswas, told NDTV,

When the lockdown was initiated, I cannot explain how scared we were. Work had ceased and we couldn’t go outside to get food. All of us were left wondering where would we live, what we would eat, how would we survive?

Also Read: This Trio From Bengaluru Is Providing Nutrition To Underprivileged Kids During Coronavirus Pandemic, Distributes Milk

(Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra Foundation)

(Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra Foundation)

Bapi Bagchi, a friend of Mr Biswas, connected him with Akshaya Patra. Describing his deeply felt appreciation for the people at the Foundation who helped him and 29 other migrant workers at this dire time of need, Mr Biswas says,

We had lost the will to live, but Akshaya Patra revived us. I do not know how to thank them enough for whatever they have done for us. There are no words.

Currently, Mr Biswas and his fellow workers are waiting to go back home.

We have never stayed away from home for so long. It has been four months. We really miss the village.

Despite the air of uncertainty that hangs around him and his friends, he is confident that the day will come when he can go back to the familiar roads of his village.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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