CHENNAI: As many as 28 NGOs have come together to supply food to the homeless in Chennai. Working under the umbrella ‘Volunteers War Room’, they have supplied as many as 1,30,000 meals over the last 15 days.“I got the idea of working under an umbrella organisation when I saw a lot of duplication in work. Most volunteers distributing food were unaware of others who were doing the same, and had been handing out food in the same localities repeatedly,” said N Hari Krishnan, co-ordinator of the volunteers.
As a result, a lot of food was being wasted. As per government data, there are a little over 10,000 homeless people in the city, but the number of food packets distributed is way more. Volunteers War Room works with the Greater Chennai Corporation, and is divided into 15 groups that distribute food in 15 zones of the city.“Most organisations use mini vans to distribute food, and homeless people form huge lines to collect it. Physical distancing norms are blatantly violated, and people who are very old or cannot walk miss out,” said a volunteer. The government has given the group 10 vans.
However, there is still duplication of work by NGOs that aren’t a part of the group, volunteers pointed out, adding that the government is trying to rectify this.Volunteers War Room also helps take Covid patients to hospitals, and caters to those in home quarantine. Work to streamline the distribution of food to the homeless is being done across Tamil Nadu.
Over 10K homeless
As per government data, there are a little over 10,000 homeless people in the city, but the number of food packets distributed is way more