BENGALURU: They say, no step towards helping someone is big or small, it’s the intent and the effort that matters. And Bengalureans have always displayed this united strength during desperate times. With the second wave of COVID spreading rampantly, leaving many helpless, home cooks have stepped up to prepare healthy meals for those infected by the virus.
When home chef Rati Dhananjayan got to know about the ordeal that her best friend, who tested positive, went through since she didn’t know how to cook, Rati decided to volunteer to help others like her friend. Using her Instagram handle rati_ratatouille_homecooking, Rati has been volunteering to offer meals to COVID patients. “Anyone who has tested positive has told me that they go through a lot of fatigue and need constant rest.
It does not matter if you know how to cook or not, at this point, one needs to rest as much as he/she can and have two healthy meals,” says Dhananjayan, who has been running her business for the past one year. The first five orders — both lunch and dinner included — are free. After that, every meal is charged Rs 150. “It’s your basic dal, rice and sabji. I would love to give all the orders for free but I will need some amount to get the supplies,” she says, adding that she is catering in CV Raman Nagar, HAL, Indiranagar and New Thippasandra.
Sometimes, the cap for free meals is not just due to budget but also because these home chefs juggle work and volunteering. Ankit Vengurlekar, a public relations professional, started Didi’s Kitchen exactly a year ago in April 2020 to lend a helping hand to his maid Saroj didi. This time around, he decided to do his bit to fight the pandemic. Currently, he is giving out 20 free meals (both lunch and dinner) in HSR and BTM Layout. “If I want, I can give away 100 free meals but the problem is it’s just Saroj didi, who takes care of cooking. With a full-time job, it gets difficult to coordinate with 20 delivery agents,” says Vengurlekar. However, once the quota for the day is booked, he refers patrons to others, who are offering similar service.
Like Vengurlekar, Samhitha Sreevathsa also has a full-time job. But nothing can stop this IT professional from extending help to those in need. “The situation outside is really bad and to recover one needs a healthy home-cooked meal. Currently, I am working from home. That’s how I manage the timing. I anyway cook similar food for my husband and me,” says Sreevathsa, a resident of Whitefield.Rati and her ilk are walking the talk — teaching us that charity, and in this case, compassion, begins at home.
Point of contact
Sneha Vachhhaney: @snehavachhaney
Monika Manchanda: @monikamanchanda
Sneha Gowda: @Sneha_gowda_1992