Akshita Mehta is currently pursuing triple majors in Journalism, Psychology, and Literature from Christ Deemed to be University, Bangalore. She believes that sharing the stories of ordinary citizens are a tool to change society.
Even after running in loss due to the pandemic, Hotel Swamy Koragajja situated in Kasargod, Kerala serves free food to the homeless and migrant workers. The restaurant is owned by three friends Vinod Kumar, Charan Raj and Shijoy K Chelery.
Approximately 70 people are living on free food provided by the restaurant during the coronavirus induced lockdown.
On May 11, when Charan Raj casually asked a rag-picker if he had his lunch, he got to know that he had not eaten for the past three days. Charan Raj asked the rag-picker to wait and he would get him food. However, the rag-picker informed Charan that there were 10 more people like him who had gone without eating for days.
So Charan Raj promised to get food for all of them.
"The ten people became thirty, and thirty became forty. In the afternoon, about 40 people wait for our meals, and around 60 people come for dinner, " Vinod Kumar said to The New Indian Express.
In March, the three friends won a bid to run a canteen in the office of the district police chief. They also run a canteen in the Collectorate office.
"Now we are in debt of ₹ 60,000. But we are also growing," said Shijoy. However, they are determined that they would continue to feed anyone who came to the restaurant for free until the lockdown is lifted.
According to official data, Kerala is home to around 3.5 lakh migrant workers, the majority of them from Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
Amidst the second wave, the state government has planned to open 36,061 camps to house migrant workers. Additionally, over 70,000 free food kits are being distributed to the migrants by the Labour department, reported The Economic Times.
The kits are distributed as per the numbers reported by the concerned Regional Joint Labour Commissioners of each district to the Labour Commissioner.
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