Jadavpur University students who have been running a community kitchen to feed the poor donated a little extra so people living in shanties near Jadavpur railway station and under the Gariahat flyover could have fish in their Poila Baisakh lunch.
These people have been surviving since the lockdown started on a meal comprising a bowl of rice and soybeans, delivered from the kitchen on the university campus.
On Poila Baishakh (Bengali New Year Day), the students wanted to do something extra to bring smiles to the faces of the impoverished.
A group of students, including research scholars, had set up the “Community Kitchen” in late March in the parking lot near gate No. 4 to feed the poor in neighbouring areas. They started with khichdi before switching to meals comprising rice and soyabean or egg.
But on Monday, 300-odd people had something better — fish curry and mish-mash with fish heads — in lunch as part of an initiative to ring in Bengali New Year.
“Amid the pandemic, we wanted to do something that could bring smiles to the faces of these people. The lockdown has robbed them of their livelihoods. We thought this would be the best way to cheer them up,” said Hindol Majumder, a research scholar.
The students are running the “Community Kitchen” through crowdfunding. But for Monday’s menu they decided to spend from their pockets.
“We started the initiative with our own resources. Then a corpus was created with generous contribution from the alumni and benevolent individuals. But we decided to fund Monday’s lunch from our pockets,” said Debjan Sengupta, another research scholar.
Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das appreciated the gesture of the students amid the crisis. “Our students have always cared for the marginalised. The community kitchen has become a model for others to follow. I was touched with what they did on Poila Boisakh,” he said.
The students said they would continue the initiative till June 10.
Source: The Telegraph