Janaki Maya, a food entrepreneur and a baker, has been waking up to the hustle and bustle of workers engaged in bread-making process at her factory in Chennai, while coordinating with a team of six-seven volunteers roped in to deliver the bread packets at certain designated places in the city.
Janaki and her husband have been providing bread packets to the less advantaged in the city for free. The duo said that the initiative has been taken up under their homegrown brand Cake Square.
"We are just trying to contribute whatever we can. The country has been fighting a deadly pandemic and we figured this could be the way to extend help to the ones in need. We have been doing this for quite some time, almost six years now, whether it was during the devastating floods or any other natural calamity. Distributing food packets, rice grain, bread packets to the people has been a routine activity for us," Janaki told The Logical Indian
"It is a social responsibility. There are people who do not have shelter and are unable to get food. I might not be in a position to help people seeking refuge but I can provide them with something to eat. That is the basic idea," she explained.
The duo has connected with several non-profit organisations operating in the city as well the volunteers who collect the packets from the factory and place them out in the open so that anyone who needs it can simply pick it up.
"There are about seven-eight foundations that have joined hands with us. On certain days, the number dips to 200 slices of bread but it can go up to over 1,000. When people started getting to know about the initiative, they expressed their interest in donating to the cause. A factor of trust and accountability also comes into action where people want their money to be utilised properly. Many volunteered to help by travelling to different locations and distributing the food packets. This is not a one-man show," she added.
Janaki said that workers in the factory strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols during the manufacturing process, including masking up and hygiene requirements. After production, the bread is packed and set aside for distribution.
Janaki recalled that they started out started with limited resources and at times have had to spend from their own pockets. "But the challenges have never discouraged my team," she added. "Even if I have to sell everything to fund the initiative, I will do it," Janaki said.
The Logical Indian applauds Good Samaritans like Janaki who give hope and confidence to the people around her especially to those who are in need and also strengthens everyone's resolve in beating the pandemic. We are stronger together and when we are available for each other.