Inspector sets up community kitchen for poor

Officer and some RWA members took initiative after watching plight of migrants

The lack of a desired result can, sometimes, fructify into something better than what had initially been hoped to be achieved.

On March 27, inspector Suman Kumar, while on duty as night checking officer, intercepted hundreds of migrant workers braving the rain while walking to their home towns in the dead of the night. He tried his best to find a shelter for them but could not succeed given the apprehensions related to the infectious nature of the novel coronavirus.

Since then, the Sarita Vihar resident, who is posted as inspector (investigation) at the local police station, has set up a community kitchen in his own neighbourhood, seeking to ensure that as many as 300 poor people do not go hungry.

“Around 1 a.m., while patrolling, I saw hundreds of poor families walking in the rain with small children towards their home towns hundreds of kilometres away. I asked them where they would go and told them they should stay back. I made several calls, knocked on several doors, including those of religious places, but those in charge, understandably, said nothing could be done right away. I could not stop the workers from marching on,” said the officer.

That morning, after his shift got over at 6 a.m., the officer made calls to the RWA members in his society — Mrinal Singh, Vijay Kher, Ramprakash and Harish Bhargava — and sought their help. By 8 a.m., a team of three cooks was ready. Hand-stoves, wheat flour, vegetables, fruits were arranged from the local residents’ homes or purchased with their contributions.

Women in the area joined hands to prepare food and wrap it in paper packets at the community centre in Pocket-C, Sarita Vihar.

“I couldn’t help those whom I met that night but, since that morning, we have been routinely providing food to anyone in need. We have distributed food at slum clusters such as Madanpur Khadar, Mohan industrial area, Jasola intersection among others,” he said. Initially the food packets contained one orange, one banana and a packet of biscuits. Besides migrant workers, they have distributed food packets to e-rickshaw drivers, housemaids and others who lost their livelihoods due to the lockdown.

“We have now added poori-subzi to the food packets. Everything is being prepared in a hygienic way and people are maintaining social distance as per norms while distributing food to the needy,” the officer said.

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