Hyderabad: Every morning at 9 am, a community kitchen slowly begins humming on the campus of the International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderabad.
A few individuals walk in and begin chopping vegetables. These are handed over to mess workers who then start the cooking process. Once cooked, another group begins to pack the food in neat little boxes. The same process is repeated from 3 pm onwards with the boxed meals ready to be shipped by 5.30 pm.
This entirely volunteer-driven initiative is undertaken by the IIIT-H in association with the Telangana Social Impact Group (T-SIG) and the State government. The T-SIG currently coordinates all relief efforts pouring in from corporates and other organisations to make sure it reaches the needy. Volunteers from various NGOs transport and distribute the packed meals twice a day.
When the idea of pitching in to assist T-SIG by providing cooked meals was mooted by Prof Ramesh Loganathan, it found ready takers among those residing on the campus. Headed by Prof Aniket Alam and Prof Radhika Krishnan, with support from Prof Shatrunjay Rawat who is currently in charge of mess operations, the group managed to cook and pack 2,561 meal boxes in eight days.
According to the institute’s ‘official’ blogger Sarita Chebbi, each day, approximately 150 to 160 meal boxes are prepared and dispatched at 12 pm as well as 5.30 pm. The menu is well thought of with emphasis on nutrition and wholesomeness. Each meal finds a different menu item and even the humble ‘khichdi’ has different variants.
According to Raj Janagam, who coordinates the efforts on behalf of T-SIG, in terms of variety and taste, IIIT-H’s packed meals have received ‘very good feedback’. The T-SIG group caters across Hyderabad and Secunderabad. On April 9, in a single day, Raj says they crossed 50,000 distributions through a single network.
“With all networks put together, we make around 60,000 distributions and that covers pretty much all of the twin cities,” he adds.
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