HYDERABAD: It was his attempt to fulfill his mother’s last wish. When she was on her deathbed and was fighting cancer, 50-year old Khushroo Poacha from Nagpur, was casually telling her about how he was hurt to see the caretakers of the patients cook on bricks and eat chapatis with chillies by the roadside.
“Do something for them. Take care of the caretakers,” she said. These inspiring words made Khusroo to start Seva Kitchen in Nagpur. Their current facility opened in the city at the Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute on Road no 10, Banjara Hills two weeks ago.
“They come from far off villages and can’t afford these basic needs too. It was devastating to see them cook in the scorching heat,” he says. His mission began on October 3, 2014, when he bought 25 packets of food from a restaurant along with his friend and distributed it to them. However, this wasn’t enough as most of them went back empty handed.
This made him take a bigger step and converted his mother’s old classroom in Nagpur into a huge kitchen along with the support of his wife Fermin. On November 23, 2014, they managed to feed 50 hungry people. “The smile after the meal is what keeps inspiring me,” says the passionate Parsi. Named as Seva Kitchen, he believes this is not charity, but the will of God.
This small endeavour by this Indian Railways employee has now spread across eight cities - Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Thane and Muradabad. “The support we have received from members across the nation has been heartwarming.
People have started calling it a huge culinary fest,” smiles Khushroo. Today Seva Kitchen has won recognition nationwide and has been able to serve more than 1,000 meals a day. It covers 38 hospitals now and are extending their arms steadily.
On being asked how has the experience in Hyderabad been so far. Khushroo exclaims that he was overwhelmed to find that over 75% of the members were youngsters. About 90% of the members of Seva Kitchen are women who get constant support from their families.
Khushroo genuinely believes that the youth have the power to bring a change. “If we all come together, we can definitely make this world a better place.” beams Khushroo.
Ruksha Hormusjee, who heads the Seva drive in the city, says, “I feel connected with Seva Kitchen especially because of its unique thought of helping patients.”
“The thought of cooking and feeding the caretakers intrigued me so much that I instantly volunteered to be a part of this when I heard about it,” says young volunteer Farah Sam Bhagat.