In Rajajinagar, 400 elders get free lunch every day

In Rajajinagar, 400 elders get free lunch every day

 Hundreds of senior citizens are served free lunch every day in Rajajinagar, thanks to a group of public-spirited volunteers.

Spandana Janapara Sanghatane has tied up with Sumadhura Darshini, an eatery in the neighbourhood, and is helping needy elders.  The group began its free meal programme serving 50 people; it now caters to 400, many of them forced to live away from their children.  “I am so old I can't even walk. Working and earning is beyond me. My children have thrown me out,” said Huliyappa, one of those grateful for the service. He has been getting free food for six months. “I was on the streets for a few days. I now live a dignified life,” he told DH.

Senior citizens who have registered with the group carry ID cards to Sumadhura Darshini. They can choose anything on the menu. Spandana is also sending lunch to bed-ridden and physically challenged people. About 50 elders with disability are registered, and their caretakers take away parcels every day. In some cases, volunteers deliver the food. “My father is bed-ridden and my mother died three years back. I am still studying. My sister and I get free meals at school. I come to Sumadhura Darshini to take food for my father,” Gopi, who lives nearby,  said.

Tough but heart warming

The group is planning to tie up with other restaur­a­n­ts to reach more elders.
“It is not easy to run this free meal scheme. But we get immense satisfaction when we see poor people feeling happy,” said Veena T K, president of Spandana Janapara Sanghatane.
The group spends about Rs 3.5 lakh a month on the food, with kind people from across the city making donations. Spandana can be reached on 98457 74025.

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