Jain communities in Gujarat, Karnataka feed the hungry during coronavirus crisis
The Jain communities in Bengaluru and Rajkot are taking measures to ensure that the ones most disadvantaged are fed during the lockdown.
In Bengaluru, the community delivered 51,000 food packets to the poor on the occasion of Mahaveer Jayanti. The city’s Jain Temple Trust also donated a cheque of Rs 51 lakh to Karnataka’s Chief Minister Relief Fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.
Additionally, the Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) is collaborating with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to feed contract and migrant labourers. Cooked food has been distributed since March 29. With funding from the Jain community, the plan is to distribute at least 7 lakh food packages by mid-April.
Community Kitchen in India (Image: The Hindu)
Arrangements have also reportedly been made to cook and hygienically prepare and package fresh food near Mekri Circle. There are also enough vehicles to transport food across the city for delivery.
“It is our duty to help the needy during a time of crisis and that is exactly what is being done. In the last eight days, we have distributed 3,42,000 meals,” Sajjan Raj Mehta, Joint Secretary of JITO, told The New Indian Express.
Meanwhile, in Gujarat’s Rajkot, the Arhan Yuva Seva Group (AYSG) is providing food to the needy. They are serving and preparing over 30,000 chapatis daily to serve the needy and destitute. Some of the food is also sent to other community kitchens that require resources. This initiative was inspired by Gurudev Namramuni Maharaj of the Jain community.
"We are making over 36,000 rotis with the help of four machines each day and we are supplying them to several other organisations. We pack the rotis in a very hygienic manner," one of the volunteers said, according to Business Standard.
So far, the community has already served four lakh rotis, and plans to continue this activity until the nationwide lockdown is lifted. Volunteers at AYSG also ensure that gloves and masks are worn, and social distancing is maintained, specifically while preparing the food.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)