Since the holy month of Ramadan began, a 28-year old Bengaluru lawyer and his team work all night to distribute food for sehri to over 500 people in Padarayanapura.
Sehri is the morning meal eaten by Muslims before sunrise during the month of Ramazan before they begin 'roza' or fast every day.
The area consists of many slums and daily wage workers who are unable to get food due to the lockdown. The initiative was started by Ayina Trust, an organisation where Saddam Baig is a trustee.
Baig had also distributed food during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The organisation includes volunteers from the Trust and outside, and every day the team packs food for the needy with funds from the donations and their own pockets. "There are many slums around, and the daily wage workers are struggling to get food these days," Baig told The New Indian Express.
The food is prepared by 11:30 pm, and then a team of volunteers packs the food and distributes it at around 3:00 am, all while staying awake the whole night. Baig said that he doesn't sleep because he knows that there are people depending on them. "I sleep less these days, but it's peaceful slumber. And helping others gives me the energy to deal with the fatigue," he adds. The team showed goodwill during Ramadan, where the main chef only takes Rs1,000 to cook 100kg of rice, one type of chakna and a gravy.
The chairman of the Trust, Irfan Ahmed Z, wants to continue the initiative even after Ramzan if the lockdown continues. Baig told the Indian Express that the volunteers have not been facing any trouble during the delivery of the food. The volunteers are divided into two so as not to disturb anyone, and the police let them proceed since they are aware of the Trust's work.
Karnataka will undergo a complete lockdown from 10th May-24th May to control the spread of the virus.