Free-Food Canteen With An Adjacent Organic Farm Opens In Kerala, State Finance Minister Serves Food On The First Day
State finance minister serving food was a surprising scene for everyone who had a meal at Kerala’s Janakeeya Bhakshana Shala (people’s restaurant) launched in Alappuzha district on March 3. The first of its kind in the state, the free-food restaurant was inaugurated by Kerala FM Dr T M Thomas Isaac. There was neither a formal speech nor the usual inaugural ceremonies. Guests and people gathered and had delicious meal.
According to a report by Mathrubhumi, Janakeeya Bhakshana Shala served food for over 1,500 people on the first day. The restaurant works according to the motto “Eat as much as you want, give as much as you can”.
This free food initiative is an offshoot of the hunger-free project by Kerala government and the canteen works under the supervision of Snehajalakam, a pain and palliative care society. Janakeeya Bhakshana Shala is situated in Alappuzha- Cherthala national highway, catering to the needs of the hungry.
Through his Facebook post, the finance minister invited people from all realms to come over during the inaugural day. People from various walks of life, including writers such as NS Madhavan, Saradakutty, Deepa Nisanth, Artist Bose Krishnamachari, and MM Arif MLA were present at the occasion.
“If you are hungry, you can come and eat here. There won’t be a cashier at the counter to settle your bill. Your conscience is the cashier. You can drop whatever amount you want to, kept at the box on the counter. Those who cannot afford to give anything can leave content, after a full meal,” Dr Isaac said in his Facebook post. “The restaurant expected to meet the day to day expenses by getting people in the area to sign up voluntarily to donate money for food in commemoration of their special occasions.”
As of now, the restaurant has received Rs 22 lakh in donation, as reported by Mathrubhumi.
The two-storeyed restaurant, adorned with artworks is well equipped with a modern steam kitchen. It can feed almost 2,000 people on a daily basis. The volunteers have also built a waste management plant, a water treatment plant and an elevator to bring the food upstairs. A 2.5-acre organic farm has also been set up adjacent to the restaurant in order to meet the in-house demands of the hotel. People can also purchase vegetables from here.