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Mumbai NGO Amps Up Efforts to Feed the Needy During New COVID Restrictions

Mumbai NGO Amps Up Efforts to Feed the Needy During New COVID Restrictions
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A Mumbai-based NGO named ‘Khaana Chahiye’ has distributed meals to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic last year. The NGO’s fight continues with the fresh wave of cases bringing about a new set of challenges.

Co-founder of the NGO Ruben Mascarenhas said that Khaana Chahiye was set up last year during the early days of the pandemic adding that they have collectively distributed more than 47 lakh meals since then. 

“We started this last year and we have been working to eliminate hunger in Mumbai. Last year we were able to raise enough money to provide over 47 lakh meals. We have once again started distributing meals,” Mascarenhas said while speaking to ANI.

“A lot of peoples have stopped getting their wages and their livelihood have been affected. Last year we were able to raise enough to raise to distribute 47 lakh meals and supported 6.5 lakh, migrant workers,” he added. 

Khaana Chahiye consists of a team of 200 volunteers spread across the city and was at one point distributing up to 1 lakh meals per day in 2020. Explaining how this cause was funded, Mascarenhas said that they use crowdfunding with many individuals and corporate entities coming forward with donations.

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Elaborating on the process of distributing meals to the needy, Neeti Goyal, also a co-founder of the NGO, said, “Last year we started with 1,200 meals. We didn't realise there would be so much hunger and desperation. When we came out, we realised that we would need at least 12,000 meals instead of 1,200.”

“The main idea behind this initiative is to fight hunger. Hunger is a disease and the vaccine is food. If people don't die of COVID they will die of hunger. So we are trying to fight this,” Goyal was quoted as saying by ANI. 

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This comes as Maharashtra continues to top the country in terms of COVID-19 cases. The state has recorded 67,123 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours with 8,834 of them coming from Mumbai. 

Although stricter restrictions were implemented in Maharashtra by the state government, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray refused to call it a lockdown. Only essential services are allowed with public places and establishments ordered to be closed. Food, grocery, and other essentials can be home delivered. 

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