Coronavirus Lockdown: Former top cop's NGO serves food to 35,000 people

Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 15:24 IST | PTI | Mumbai

Since March 26, the Mumbai Roti Bank, founded by Sivanandan in January 2018, has supplied food to 5.3 lakh people in the city

Picture/Mumbai Roti Bank- Twitter
Picture/Mumbai Roti Bank- Twitter

Amid the lockdown, a social organisation run by former Maharashtra director general of police D Sivanandan is providing food to nearly 35,000 poor and needy people in Mumbai city and suburbs everyday.

Since March 26, the Mumbai Roti Bank, founded by Sivanandan in January 2018, has supplied food to 5.3 lakh people in the city. "This is the time when there is an actual need to help the poor and needy people and bridge the gap between surplus food and empty plates. The Mumbai Roti Bank is providing food to at least 35,000 people here and 2,500 in Nagpur everyday," Sivanandan told PTI.

He said they also want to extend the campaign in Pune, but are facing manpower shortage there. "As Mumbai has a huge population, we cant reach everywhere. People contact us for food and serve them accordingly," he said.

Mumbai Police are also helping in the initiative by distributing food to people, he said. The Mumbai Roti Bank has four kitchens, including the central one at Mahul in suburban Chembur. Besides, it gets food prepared at a facility each in Dadar and Borivali and a caterer friend of Sivanandan also supplies food.

"Before the lockdown, we were serving 4,000 people in a day, but now the demand has gone up, so we are putting in all efforts to fulfil this. We have been serving pulao and dal khichdi to cater to the increased demand," he said. The organisation is also providing food in coronavirus containment zones, including Dharavi slum area, with its workers taking care to maintain social distancing and wear protective gear.

At least 45 to 50 NGOs are working with the Mumbai Roti Bank during the period of lockdown to supply meals in the city, said Sivanandan, who at times tries cooking himself at the kitchen in Mahul.

"I have seen poverty during my younger days and have also observed that children take the path of crime because of hunger. To curb the crime, I realised that these children need to go to school where they get mid-day meal. Once they are educated, they are qualified to work, he said.

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