VISAKHAPATNAM: The Subhojanam programme, which was launched by Hare Krishna Movement in association with Touch Stone Charities 10 years ago, at King George Hospital (KGH) has so far provided food to almost 30 lakh patients, their relatives and several others. As part of the initiative, nutritious and quality food is provided free of cost three times a day — breakfast, lunch and dinner — with the help of funds from various donors. In case there are no donors available, a nominal price of Rs 10 per meal is charged.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a representative of Hare Krishna Movement, Swamy Yedhu Raja Dasa, explained that the Subhojanam programme was initiated with an objective to serve free, hygienic and nutritious meals to the underprivileged sections of society. “As part of the programme, we provide meals to patients and their attendants at KGH,” he said. The food service is available on all days throughout the year, he said. “We have never taken a break. We understand the need for good food in hospitals. Even Covid-19 could not stop us from feeding the people. Despite the lockdown and the high number of cases, our volunteers stepped up and served numerous Covid-19 patients at KGH,” Yedhu Raja Dasa said.
Serving over 1,000 people in a day, Subhojanam is widely appreciated by the people.K Chitti Babu of Hukumpeta mandal, who came to KGH for his wife’s operation, said with no relatives in the city, he thought food would be a major problem. However, thanks to Subhojanam’s initiative, they have been getting meals since last week. “It is like home food. The volunteers are so kind, they give us large portions of food and encourage us to take second servings as well,” he said.
The volunteers of the Hare Krishna Movement ensure that no food is wasted. “Usually, food is not wasted. In case, there is leftover food, we visit various wards and distribute it among the needy,” said P Ram Mohan, one of the volunteers. Apart from serving patients and their families, Hare Krishna Movement Volunteers also serve the KGH staff such as watchmen, ward boys, and more. K Raju, one of the ward boys at the hospital said Subhojanam is a blessing for him. “I have been eating here for so many days. Not once has the food been bad. Every meal is freshly cooked and served hot,” he said.