What are the consequences of a virus affecting the whole world and putting it in a state of pandemonium?
Thousands of years of evolution later, the most basic of human necessities remains food. Life can get arduous for people who rely on daily wages with no source of income to fend for them and their families. Mighty efforts have been put into helping the lesser privileged sail through the tough times of the lockdown. An immense number of volunteers have stepped up to extend their helping hands, and pull humanity out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation working in association with the government of India, have been significant with their work to instill hope in the hopeless.
I had a great opportunity to witness and document the whole process, first hand, at one of The Akshay Patra Foundation’s facilities. The day starts with all the volunteers and staff getting checked for their temperature. Masks and caps are provided to everybody who enters the facility. With my checks done, I was handed a cup of piping hot Kashaya (our very own, desi immunity booster); a very thoughtful gesture.
I entered the Tripura Vasini Palace Grounds, where Akshaya Patra carries out all their relief works; the facility was organized like clockwork. The volunteers were assigned specific responsibilities to be carried out throughout the day. The whole process starting from packing, refilling, sealing, quality check until the time of delivery goes on without skipping a beat. It was like a colony of ants on mission!
It was a commendable act of unity where different classes of society united for one cause of working together for the needy. Employees at Akshaya Patra, joined by Police officials, individual volunteers and daily-wage workers themselves.
Here is the story of the Hunger warriors working behind the scenes, persistently, to ensure that no one is left behind.
Photographs and story: Bhaskar Iyer