We have heard of Amma canteen in Tamil Nadu and Indira canteen in Karnataka providing food at a lower price. But, what about a citizen giving meals at an economical rate, that too everyday?
A hotel or restaurant giving food for just Rs. 5 is unthinkable. But, a Noida-based social activist Anoop Khanna started a novel initiative ‘Dadi Ki Rasoi’, catering to the needs of almost 500 people every day.
Dadi Ki Rasoi began two years ago as an effort to give desi food at an economical rate. The menu keeps changing from dal, chawal, roti to various vegetable items. There are two such stalls operating in Noida.
When asked about the main inspiration behind this initiative, Anoop Khanna said to The Logical Indian, “Since my childhood, I have been involved in various social activities. My father was an active participant in the freedom struggle. He got the opportunity to work with Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. So, I was inclined to do similar kind of work”.
Dadi Ki Rasoi
Dadi Ki Rasoi provides meals every day between 10 am-11.30 am on Sector 17 and 12 pm- 2 pm on Sector 29. From students to employees, everyone cue at the shop every day. The name ‘Dadi Ki Rasoi’ was suggested by Anoop Khanna’s daughter Sakshi Khanna. He says that his family is very supportive of the initiative. Khanna had an investment of Rs 30,000 for setting up the kitchen. In the course of time, they began to get donations from others.
Many generous people have joined hands with him, extending their support. “Shopkeepers give me raw materials at a discounted price. Many residents donate special meals on special occasions like birthday, wedding anniversary and so on. Their support is immense”, said Anoop Khanna to The Logical Indian. According to him, engaging in such activities is not so difficult. A person only needs the will to do so.
Why Rs. 5?
“We should not beg for anything. I don’t want to treat the people who are financially weak as beggars. I don’t support reservation system. What we need to do is to make things economical. At the same time, no one has to bother about the quality and taste of the food”, said Anoop. According to him, food, cloth and medicine are the necessary requirements for any individual. He aims to make these three things accessible to the financially weaker section of the society at an affordable price.
Clothes and Medicines for poor
Anoopa Khanna has also started ‘Sadhbhavana store’, which provides clothes and shoes for Rs.10 for the needy. This initiative has also gained tremendous support from others. He has also enrolled himself with ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana’ and opened the first ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra’ in Noida. Now he runs two pharmaceutical shops in Noida. Whenever a tragedy strikes, he manages to reach the site with relief materials.
“Small steps bring big changes in our society” this is Anoop’s motto in life. He promises to continue his social service throughout his life and stand as an epitome for others to follow.