CHENNAI: The flood-hit residents may have lost their homes and belongings but most of them don’t end up sleeping without food and water thanks to the generosity of Chennaiites and the community kitchens that are mushrooming in the city.
Most of the residents are not waiting for the government to initiate relief measures and are pooling in money to ensure that those who have lost everything during the floods don’t go with an empty stomach.
Although food is being provided at relief camps, people could be seen waiting at the roadside to get the offerings of love and compassion from fellow Chennaiites.
An apartment in Mogappair is cooking food by pooling in money. “The women cook and the men distribute the food,” said Sandhya, who conceived the initiative.
“I came up with the idea and asked people living in our apartment. They agreed. We managed to get `20,000 and bought vegetables and prepared food,” she said adding “Till now, we have provided 800 packets. These include vegetable-rice and water.”
She is not alone. There are many people who are silently contributing to the cause of humanity. In Nerkundram, there have been many community kitchens dotting the area. Most of them cook on the road and serve it to the flood-hit people.
In relief centres, the people are longing for food being offered by the private people. Auto driver B Sivakumar, whose family was seen trying to get the eatables offered in a small lorry opposite Ampa Skywalk mall, said there is no shortage of food for the affected. “The issue is with the officials. They have failed to enumerate how many are genuinely in need of food and clothing. They have the ration cards or data of each and every person living in the ward. All they have to do is compile it and ensure that the needy get the flood relief and the leakages are prevented,” he added.
Interestingly, he is not staying at the relief camp. His auto is his home. His two children live in the auto as the relief camps are too crowded. “People’s initiative is noble but they are providing the food to the same people. They are unaware of who is needy and who is not,” he says.