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Here’s how people in India are helping each other in the COVID-19 crisis


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Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/05/21

In the midst of so many deaths, many are stepping up to bring a little comfort ... and nutrition.

In times of crisis, what often emerges is people helping each other out in pretty extraordinary ways. And this is just the case for the crisis India is facing at the moment, when the country’s number of COVID-related deaths has exceeded 200,000.

Even though there is much fear, individuals have taken the initiative to help sisters and brothers in need — those who are grieving loved ones, those busy caring for others, and those stuck at home unable to cook for themselves.

To help bring a little comfort and nutrition, some Indians have started cooking hundreds of meals to give to complete strangers.

The kind-hearted neighbor

Plaksha Aggarwal from New Delhi felt concern for her neighbors when the number of Covid cases started to rise. She decided to cook for people initially in her apartment block. From there the word spread, and soon she was getting requests from around the city. “I could not refuse people. They wouldn’t be calling unless they needed help. Some orders were for people who had just lost family members,” she explained to Al Jazeera. Soon she was cooking over a hundred meals a day.

In need of a homemade meal

In Hyderabad, Roshni Nathan, who manages The Kitchen Table, noticed that there was a demand for simple dishes. People were particularly craving the comfort of a homemade meal, so Nathan is doing her best to provide some much-needed nourishment to those in quarantine, saying she “just wanted to do her bit.”

Crowdsourcing success

Hundreds of people offered to cook meals for those in need when chef Saransh Goila used his social media connections to look for volunteers: “I realized I had to do something. If I don’t use my social media reach and network to help, what is the use of having them?”

Goila gathered together by hand all the necessary details of those requesting help and willing volunteers. From there a website was created to match volunteers with requests, and thanks to the hashtag #CovidMealsforIndia his efforts have garnered around 1,500 meal providers helping those struggling in 50 of India’s cities.

These are just a few of the men and women waking up early to spend the day helping complete strangers from the goodness of their hearts. As the virus continues to wreak havoc in India, and considering the lengthy recovery times, their work will still be in demand. However with communities coming together, hopefully others will be able to lend a culinary hand, too.

Acts of KindnessCOVID-19India
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