TIRUPATI: Moved by the plight of the impoverished hit hard by lockdown in Tirupati, a 24-year-old ward volunteer has taken it upon herself to help as many people as she can despite getting an honorarium of just Rs 5,000. Panditi Mounika, from Sanjay Gandhi Nagar in Tirupati, is a ward volunteer from the eighth division in the corporation limits. Despite a meagre income, she has been feeding many homeless and destitute at least once a day.
She started volunteer service by serving food for 30 people. Now, with the support her family members Vijaya, Ravichandra, and Sandhya, she is able to feed more than 200 people at roadsides and hospitals in the city.
“One of my friends told me about the plight of the poor in the city. On that day itself, I visited Balaji bus stand and saw how an elderly homeless woman was living. The woman told me that she had not eaten in two days. That is when I decided to serve food at least once to such people. I shared my idea with my mother who immediately supported me. My aunt Vijaya helps me to make food and buy groceries,” she said.
“Not just me, but my whole family takes pride in the fact that we feed the hungry.”Mounika is a bachelors degree holder in pharmacy from a private college in Tiruchanoor. The only daughter of P Gunabhusana, her family starts its day by buying vegetables and groceries and finish the preparations by 10.30-11 am.
They step out and start looking for the impoverished around 12 pm in an auto-rickshaw. Ten members of the family and her friends support her in the distribution of food.
Observing her noble activities, many in her neighbourhood have recognised her work and appreciated her.
A person from the temple town donated rice and some groceries to the volunteer as his support in the food distribution.
Her mother sells rice in another town. The family has been even distributing food to the homeless at Alipiri, Balaji bus stand, Ruia and Maternity hospital in the city. “We have been supporting Mounika in her activities. Some of our relatives volunteer by donating groceries and vegetables. But the major contribution is from Mounika. We cook a variety of food including rice, dal and curry on a daily basis,” said Vijaya, a relative.