Kathakali Dutta is a second semester student of the Master of Communication and Journalism (Integrated) programme at the School of Mass Communication, KIIT Deemed University, Bhubaneswar.
The lockdown that has followed the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, has left many impoverished without jobs or even food. Because of the misery faced by the poor in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati, a 24-year-old ward volunteer has started an initiative to feed the homeless people at least once a day.
Despite her restricted income of just ₹5,000, Panditi Mounika of Sanjay Gandhi Nagar in Tirupati has taken it upon herself to serve the needy during the lockdown.
She had initially started the initiative by feeding 30 people once a day but now with the aid of her family members and friends, she has been feeding 200 homeless people every day.
Recalling back to how it all started, Mounika mentioned that one of her friends had told her about the misery of the poor in their city. On the very same day, she visited the Balaji bus stand and saw the situation over there. On coming across an old woman, Mounika came to know that the woman had not eaten for two days. She then immediately decided to serve food at least once a day to the victims of lockdown. "I shared my idea with my mother who immediately supported me. My aunt Vijaya helps me to make food and buy groceries," Mounika told The New Indian Express.
Mounika has graduated with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from a college in Tiruchanoor. She and her entire family take pride in their service and start their day by buying vegetables and groceries for preparing food. They finish their preparations by 10:30 AM to 11 AM and then at around noon they set out in auto-rickshaws to deliver food to the impoverished.
Ten members from Mounika's family and friend circle help her in delivering the food and their work has been acknowledged and appreciated by several neighbours.
Noticing her noble initiative, a resident from temple town has donated rice and some other groceries in support of her work. The family has been giving free food to the homeless people at Alipiri, Balaji bus stand, Ruia, and Maternity hospital in the city.
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