After her tweet went viral, Aakansha Sadekar from Pune started receiving calls for homemade food. Since then, she has left no stone unturned in helping those who reached out to her.
The second wave of Coronavirus has proved the power of social media with a lot of people trying to help through these platforms. Similarly, Aakansha Sadekar from Pune had started providing food on a small level and now delivers 7,000 meals daily along with her team.
Initially, Aakansha was giving food to her brother, Soham Sadekar. However, as Soham shared the food with his friends, the demand for Akansha’s homemade food increased and she started giving meals to ten other students.
After Maharashtra imposed a lockdown-like situation, the 32-year-old British Indian came across doctors through Twitter who did not have proper food after returning from their duties and were surviving on noodles. Soon after, she put a post on her Twitter handle saying that doctors, medical students, and health workers could reach out to her for a home-cooked meal.
The journey started from the tweet and she started receiving a lot of calls for the food. Within a week, she was joined by Akansha Mathur Sharma, who helped her distributing food to various parts of Pune. The duo has also started an NGO, ‘Purushottam Malati Foundation’ together.
“We faced a lot of hurdles in the beginning because we were not an established organisation. Apart from that, the distribution was also a challenge since we were receiving a lot of calls,” Ms. Sharma said.
With due course of time, they managed to get in touch with local vendors who could prepare the food. “We always go and check with the vendors to be assured of providing hygienic food to the people. Also, with the help of our volunteers, we serve food to the frontline workers, sex workers, women, children and those in need,” the 30-year-old said.
Currently, Aakansha Sadekar and Akansha Sharma are working with four to five volunteers while also taking care of lockdown protocols. “Police and the local people have now recognised us as they know that we are only 4 to 5 people who come daily to give food,” Ms. Sharma said.
The team is also proving ration kits to poor families. “We put rice, dal, masalas, poha etc in the ration kits,” Ms. Sharma said while also adding that the sanitary napkins are also included in the ration kits for women. “The women and children living in the red light areas have no one to rely on, especially, in such difficult times. We aim to keep providing them with basic items until the situation becomes a bit better,” Ms. Sharma said. She also told that they have become part of their family as they go and talk to them regularly.
“We start our distribution around noon which continues till 9 pm. While all areas are served food twice, some are only served once due to geographical constraints,” Ms. Sharma told. Their NGO is also providing a few stuff like milk and other things to the girls in the orphanages. Ms. Sharma said that Aakansha herself goes there to meet the girls.
The organization has received donations amounting to Rs 2.5 lakh till now. However, they have spent more than Rs. 10 lakh to feed the people and provide ration kits. Ms. Sharma told that they are also planning to add medicines to the ration kits.
Aakansha Sadekar talked about her initiative and says that she follows Princess Diana’s quote “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” “I believe that anyone can do what I did as it doesn’t cost a lot to be kind and empathetic,” Ms. Sadekar said.
Contact at 9967869613 for food.
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