THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Under the Kerala Social Security Mission, the city corporation has launched a programme 'Vishappurahitha Nagaram' to provide rice-based meals with various curries for lunchtime to patients.
While the practice of providing free meals to the poor exists in other cities which is usually carried out by voluntary organisations and faith-based institutions, this is the first time the city corporation is providing meals to the patients who cannot afford to buy food.
Titled 'Hunger-Free City', the project aims to provide subsidised meals once a day to patients and the poor at designated centres in the city. It also ensures that no person in the city goes without at least one square meal a day.
Five hospitals in the city including the W & C Hospital Thycaud, Government Fort Hospital, Valiathura Government Hospital, General Hospital and Nemom Taluk Hospital were identified to implement the project as part of the programme.
“This is an initiative by the corporation in order to provide food to the needy and make the city hunger-free. We considered starting the programme with a few government hospitals and then gradually increasing the number of hospitals,” said Prakash S, the health supervisor. Two months since its implementation, the initiative has been catering to the needs of more than 1,000 patients in government hospitals across the city.
The vegetarian meals comprise rice, a curry, a side-dish and pickled vegetables. The green protocol is followed and food is packaged in eco-friendly materials. The total cost of the project is Rs 20 lakh and food is provided by the kudumbashree unit. Tokens are distributed during the morning hours at the concerned hospitals. The patient count is noted and food is provided accordingly.
“Through the programme, we are able to provide food to the needy patients in all the selected government hospitals,” said Prakash. The corporation officials also plan to extend the service to relatives who accompany the patients.