As the number of Covid-19 cases increase, one is seeing heartwarming examples of solidarity and compassion across the country. Strangers are coming together to the aid of those battling the deadly disease. While some are helping people get oxygen cylinders, others are updating on social media about the availability of hospital beds. There are many who are providing meals to people affected by the pandemic. Bhagat Halwai, a restaurant in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, is cooking and delivering healthy meals, two-time a day, to Covid-19 patients and their family members who are isolating at home. And that too for free.
From taking orders with the help of bloggers from the city to making sure the food is delivered hot to the houses of the Covid-19 patients, Agra’s Bhagat Halwai is doing it all. Shivam Bhagat, owner of Bhagat Halwai in Shahganj, Agra, says that it is a time when we have to come together to help each other.
Just like many other cities in the country, where individuals to collaboratives to religious organisations are coming forward to provide food to Covid patients isolating at their homes, Agra’s Bhagat Halwai is doing their bit. They are delivering up to 240 food packets a day across the city. And social media is helping them in reaching out to people in need. Shivam Bhagat told IndiaToday.in “We are collaborating with Instagram bloggers to spread the news about our initiative. Through them, people are contacting us and amplifying it in their social circle.”
Shivam Bhagat says that the condition is more severe this time as we are seeing more Covid-19 cases among our relatives and those we know personally. He adds, “We are providing lunch and dinner to around 120 people every day. So, we are delivering around 240 packets of food every day to people affected by the pandemic. Then there are some fresh additions to the list every day. So, the number of food packets usually increases. The food is packed in disposable containers so that people can easily dispose them off. Our employees are volunteering to home-deliverythe food packets.”
Currently, Bhagat Halwai are delivering food packets to homes in Shahganj, Sikandra and Dayalbagh. They also make special meals for patients who have been advised to eat particular things like porridge or daal.
While the procurement of ration and cooking is not a big task for Bhagat Halwai as they do this on a daily basis, it is the delivery of the food packets which sometimes becomes an issue. Shivam Bhagat says, “We are a restaurant, so we have the stock and the manpower to cook food in huge amount. The problem arises with the delivery of the food packets. At times, we don’t get volunteers to deliver the packets to certain areas of the city where there are higher number of Covid cases. Their family members also get worried about their health. Their concern is ‘what if they also get the virus’. But despite that, our volunteers make sure that the food reaches people who need it. They deliver the packets on time so that patients can have their medicines at the prescribed time.”
The weekend lockdown imposed by the state administration to curb the rise in Covid numbers is the only hurdle that keeps Bhagat Halwai away from delivering the food packets to Covid-19 patients. Shivam says, “Since it’s lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays, our volunteers cannot step out on the roads. So we cannot provide food to the Covid patients on weekends. We tell them beforehand that we’ll not be able to deliver it, which they understand. We have applied for passes for the movement of our vehicles during the weekend lockdown, but haven’t received them yet. If we get the passes, it will be a great help for us as well as those who depend on us for their food during these testing times.”
Source: India Today