“It all started the day I swiped through the stories of my friends outside India, struggling to find food for their COVID affected parents in Bombay and Bangalore. Now living in Australia with my own parents settled back in Chennai,
those messages were definitely a major wake up call, especially since my immediate environment here in Canberra had already been restored to normalcy.
It made me realize the gravitas of the second wave and I knew at once that I wanted to help the folks back in Chennai. So out of sheer panic I started curating a list of homechefs who were willing to cook for COVID positive households in their specific areas. And what started as a random Instagram story quickly grew into a small community of like-minded people who were ready to help regardless of the situation at hand. Some were even generous enough to provide these meals for free.
Now until that point I was just a food blogger sharing my favourite recipes online, for a hobby. However, as soon as this initiative “Saapadu for Chennai” started operating in full swing, my platform became a broadcasting medium to coordinate and effectively serve many, many families affected by the
And mind you, while I’ve been trying to coordinate the backend operations alongside my job here, most of the
women volunteers cooking these delicious meals in Chennai are full timers too! They do most of the heavy-lifting and beautifully so with the intention to never let anyone within their capacity starve during testing times like these.
So with all our efforts carefully channeled towards this common goal, we did witness some fantastic results as well.
One was where a lady from Singapore was desperately trying to arrange some curd rice for her COVID-positive father back in Mandaveli and reached out to us for help. Upon her request all I did was just drop in a message in our common Whatsapp group and viola! Within an hour we had it Swiggied to the elderly gentleman all the way from Arumbakkam!
As for the daughter, she was thoroughly impressed and even donated a considerable sum to our cause. Again, that was the first amongst multiple requests for funding our journey but in all honesty, we feel we are well afloat for now and just want our work to shine through at the moment!
What we aspire, going forward though is to loop in small caterers in inaccessible parts of the city and possibly provide meals until this second wave calms down. Especially with the lockdowns in full effect right now, we’re additionally looking to tie up with NGOs to feed the homeless as well.
The journey that began out of helplessness has truly bloomed into a fruitful movement today, thanks to all our selfless volunteers who spare their precious time towards this everyday!
Hopefully our cause reaches more ears and gathers support to fight the fight, the right way!”