Bengaluru, March 25 (IANS) An international hunger relief NGO (non-government organisation) would feed about 20,000 people daily in four cities, including Bengaluru, hit by the 21-day coronavirus lockdown, an official said on Wednesday.
“Our NGO — Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI) — will serve 2 meals a day for a month to about 20,000 daily wage and construction workers, contract labourers, street vendors in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai through partners,” said the city-based NGO in a statement here.
With the 3-week lockdown Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Tuesday night till April 14 across the country to contain the COVID-19 pandemic spread, RAHI executive director Dola Mohapatra said the vulnerable groups were the worst hit, as they have lost the source of their income.
“Packaged meals will be supplied to those affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, as they have been rendered jobless and are in need of support. Feeding 20,000 people twice a day, we will serve 12-lakh meals over the next 30 days,” Mohapatra told IANS.
As per the NGO’s estimates, about 5-lakh people will be in need of support in the four cities during the prolonged lockdown.
The NGO, affiliated to the US-based Rise Against Hunger, has been feeding the lowest strata of society since 2015 in partnership with corporates.
“In 2019, we served 35-lakh meals to feed 30,000 poor people in a dozen cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune with corporate partners,” recalled Mahapatra.
The NGO supplied meals to 65 families which are construction workers and daily wage earners in Bengaluru, as they are affected by the lockdown in this tech city since March 14.
“As hunger is the main challenge for these groups, we need to provide them provisions for two meals a day for their families. In these hard times, we need to support them,” Mahapatra added.
The NGO also plans to supply meals to the vulnerable groups in more cities through its network in the coming days.
“We appeal to corporate groups, large business houses and other organisations to provide food to the needy and prevent them from going hungry,” asserted Mahapatra.
Besides serving meals, the NGO plans to mobilise essentials like cooking oil, spices and masks for the deserving people.