Bahraich: For the needy stuck in the lockdown, the city’s ‘Anna Rath’ is ray of hope delivering free food to around 2000 people on a daily basis.
It takes requests for food delivery on phone and also hands out masks to protect people from coronavirus.
Run by the Hari Shankar Mittal Charitable Trust, the Anna Rath has been active since the past two years serving food to the poor near the district hospital.
But today, it has extended its role and is lending a helping hand to the district administration by strengthening its community kitchen.
“Our volunteers are delivering food free of cost to those requiring it in different parts of the city all through the day,” convenor of the trust, Sandeep Mittal, told PTI on Monday.
Helped by his wife Anshika, mother Shashi and brothers Amit and Sanjeev, Mittal said that they had started delivering food to the needy ever since the beginning of the lockdown in March on phone requests.
“During the Navratri, we had also taken care of the needs of those fasting. Since last week we are also providing food for pets and other animals as required,” Mittal said.
The Rath had been active since the past two years serving fresh food to patients and their attendants at the district hospital at a meagre amount of Rs. 5. But even those who are not able to pay for it have never been allowed to go without food, he said.
After the lockdown began no charge is being taken for the food and face masks are also being distributed, Mittal said.
Elaborating on the finances, Mittal said it is often helped by people who want to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and other important days by sharing with the poor by contributing in the form of money.
The Trust is also on the verge of launching its app for serving food at hospitals and other places where it is required in normal times also after the lockdown
Besides the local people who take pride in the ‘Anna Rath, local MLA and former basic education minister Anupama Jaiswal also praised it.
“Social workers associated with the Anna Rath are selflessly serving the poor and needy during this pandemic and playing an important role,” Jaiswal said.
District Magistrate Shambhu Kumar also praised the Trust, saying its team is doing good work.
“They have come forward to help the administration whenever the need has arisen,” he said.