SRIKAKULAM: What started as a small initiative by three young jawans in Palasa has now become a mission to satiate the hunger of beggars and destitutes. Around three years ago, three jawans posted at different parts of the country landed at Palasa railway station to visit their homes. The sight of beggars and homeless sitting on both sides of the foot over bridge at the railway station seeking alms and food prompted the trio to come up with the initiative.
“Moved by their plight, we decided to do something for beggars and homeless. We launched a service activity under the banner Swami Vivekananda Seva Samithi (SVSS). Initially, we prepared food at our village and served it to the beggars at Palasa railway station,’’ Rapaka Kiran, one of the founder of the SVSS, told TNIE.
Apart from Kiran, who is attached to Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the other two are Bunny of Assam Rifles and Dharma of BSF and they hail from Gollamakannapalli village in Palasa mandal. Later, they started a food bank at Palasa through which they started collecting leftover food from function venues and hotels to feed the hungry.
Inspired by the dedicated service of the trio, about 600 youths from different parts of the district joined the Samithi. Now, the poor feeding is also being implemented in Mandasa, Sompeta and Haripuram. Besides collecting leftover food, the Samithi also prepares food to satiate the hunger of the beggars and destitutes by mobilising funds.
On an average, they feed about 100 poor people a day. Responding to our social service, hotel managements and function organisers are providing the leftover food to the Samithi for distribution to the poor. Some people are also coming forward to sponsor food distribution on special occasions. The Samithi is also extending other services to the poor and needy people. As we have set up a fund for implementation of service activities, we provide money to the poor patients in medical emergencies. Members of the Samithi also donate blood regularly, Kiran said
“When I posted a message on social media seeking four units of blood for an open heart surgery of my mother about a year ago, SVSS members immediately responded and donated blood,’’ said Bhagyalakshmi Brahma of Muktapuram in Meliaputti mandal. Later, she also joined the organisation to serve the society.G Ramu of Palasa said several people in the town make it a point to call the Samithi if they have more leftover food. “This way, we are able to contribute to satisfy the hunger of the poor,’’ he said.