In the midst of a dangerous second wave of Covid-19, many Good Samaritans of Rourkela have come forward to help isolated patients and their families with home-cooked meals free of cost. One among them is 33-year-old Babu Khan of Chhend Colony in Rourkela. Ten days back when nine members of a family in his neighborhood were tested positive and hospitalized, their main worry was arranging food for the remaining elderly family members who were put in home isolation. Khan, who runs a voluntary organization Mission Rourkela, assured them that their elderly family members in home isolation are provided nutritious food thrice in a day.
Khan with his wife, four cousins and two relatives of Kalinga Vihar in Chhend Colony have been preparing home cooked meals for such patients and families since the last fortnight. The meals include rice, dal, sabji and bhujia, all cooked with less spices and oil. Three of their neighbours - Sangita Mishra, Jharna Nayak and Ahalya Panda - prepare rotis and provide them to the Khan family for distribution among isolated patients and families. Khan and 10 volunteers of Mission Rourkela distribute the food packets to 80 patients in home isolation for lunch and dinner every day. “I don’t get tired doing this. In fact, helping these people motivates me to do more for the society”, he said.
Last year he survived Covid-19 after 22 days of treatment in home isolation. This period, he said, made him realise that there are many others who need help with food during isolation. He said needy patients are supplied with prescribed medicines. Khan has also arranged two oxygen cylinders for emergency supply. Similarly, a resident of Civil Township Gurinder Singh has taken a break from his transport business for the last 10 days to provide lunch and dinner to isolated patients free of cost. He has been doing so for the last seven days and helping him in the initiative is his wife Pushpinder, two sons Amandeep and Deep Pratap and two nephews, Balraj and Paranjyot. Their day begins at 5 am and the cooking is completed well before 11 pm.
The family packs the food and sets out to distribute them among the needy patients throughout the city. “Currently, we are meeting the food requirements of nearly 800 patients and their families. Initially when the demand was less, we used to cook at our home but now we have shifted the kitchen to Gurudwara at Civil Township”, said 45-year-old Gurinder. Apart from his entire family, 12 Gurudwara volunteers are engaged in the task and more people are coming forward to help them. At the Rotary Clubs of Rourkela, while some members are helping distressed patients with oxygen, there are women members of Rotary Club of Rourkela Queens who are also providing cooked food to isolated patients.