[COVID Warriors] These individuals are providing free meals to COVID-19 patients across India

These COVID warriors are ensuring that COVID-19 patients and their families who are isolated at home have access to safe and nutritious meals at no cost.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best and the worst in humanity. 

While the news headlines have told us about fake drug rackets, oxygen scams, and other despicable acts by people who prey on the needy, we find hope in stories of people who have gone out of their way to help others. 

SocialStory highlights the story of a few COVID warriors who are supplying free food to COVID-19 patients quarantined at home, ensuring people in isolation don’t go hungry.

Vidhit Kankonkar and his family

Image: Twitter

Kankonkar family’s kitchen - Goa

Margao-based Vidhit Kankonkar and his family decided to do their bit for COVID-19 patients and those who are in financial need. 


The family started providing simple meals that includes chapatis, vegetables, dal, a boiled egg, and bananas completely free of cost. They deliver the food and only need a day’s prior notice. 


The menu was curated after Vidhit checked with his friends in the medical fraternity to ensure the food complies with what  COVID-19 patients can eat, so the food is fresh, not spicy, and low in salt. 


You can call Vidhit at 09923853578.

Meals for Madras provides free meals all over Chennai

Meals for Madras

During the first COVID-19 wave, Chennai-based entrepreneur Deepthi Tanikella and her family cooked meals and distributed them to the homeless.  


This year, she noticed a post on Instagram by Harshini Sridhar about sending home-cooked food to COVID-19 positive patients. She reached out and helped her start a group of 12 people on WhatsApp. 

Later, they expanded that with an app called Meals for Madras with the help of Srinidy Ravichandran. 


Today, there are over 75 home cooks and volunteers on the platform providing healthy meals free of cost to COVID-19 patients across Chennai. 

Mission Chai distributes free meals to COVID-19 patients across Bengaluru.

Image: Facebook

MISSION CHAI - Bengaluru

Founded by Rakesh Nayyar and his daughter Prerna Nayyar on August 16, 2015, at Bengaluru’s Kidwai Cancer Hospital, Mission Chai began by serving tea, milk, biscuits, fruits, and other essentials to patients and their families bed to bed. 

Pre-pandemic, it also organised events like blood donation camps and celebrations for birthdays and anniversaries of patients in the hospital. 

With the COVID-19 outbreak, Mission Chai is delivering vegetarian homemade food to COVID-19 patients in Old Airport Road, Indiranagar, HAL, Koramangala, and neighbouring areas, including Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar, etc. 

While the food is free of cost, the delivery charges by Dunzo or Swiggy have to be paid by the customer. 


Nisha Bhagat (centre) with Chandrasheker and Vinita Sahu

Image: Facebook

Nisha Bhagat- Ranchi

Cafe owner Nisha Bhagat converted her business into a free-of-cost service for COVID-19 patients and their families, supplying breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 


Nisha got the idea when she received a call from a woman who wanted Khichdi and was ready to pay anything for the food. She found out that all the people in the caller’s family were COVID-19 positive and were unable to cook. That inspired Nisha to start helping those in need. 


Today, Nisha feeds nearly 45 people with healthy food, including idli, upma, and boiled egg for breakfast; rice, roti, green vegetables, and salad for lunch; and vegetables and chapati for dinner. 


Nisha says that many people have volunteered to pay for the provisions to help her continue with her service. She is also helped by Chandrasheker and Vinita Sahu. The trio begins their day at 5 AM every day to cook for those in need.

Ravi Prakash has been employing women underprivileged homes to cook free meals for COVID-19 patients.

Image: Facebook

Ravi Prakash- Mumbai

Ravi runs a free meal service for COVID-19 patients in Mumbai’s western suburbs. He delivers meals to the patients with no delivery charge. 

He has set up three kitchens and has employed underprivileged women to cook, and he also pays them a salary. Ravi has no background in hospitality and is running the service as a philanthropic effort. You can connect with either Ravi Prakash or Raju Kane for the meal service.

Zoya Zaman - Guwahati

Zoya has been providing free meals to families affected by COVID-19. While the food is free, the pick up has to be made from a pre-decided point near Exotic Bakery in the city’s Uzan Bazar area. 

There is a preset seven-day menu for lunch and dinner that includes rice, lentil, ghee rice, and vegetable stew. You can contact Zoya at 8130063186.

Sangeet Kothari - Kolkata 

Sangeet provides free meals for those who are quarantining at home in Kolkata. 

She is working with two other home cooks — Shailaja Mundra and Foodrack by Ambrish. While Shailaja makes only lunch, Ambrish helps with the other three meals. 

Sangeet says that most of the requests for food come through friends, family, and on her Twitter handle. She also sends dry rations to old age homes and orphanages. You can contact her at 9830022695.

Edited by Suman Singh