Often ‘obliged’ with leftover food, the underprivileged in India end up falling sick – and their condition worsens further when they are unable to get timely treatment. A food start-up in Delhi-NCR, Rasoi On Wheels, is changing the way they eat. It provides them with fresh, nutritious and hygienically packed meal boxes, something they relish.
Here’s how this mobile kitchen intervention is changing the lives of thousands of underprivileged:
Manika Badhwar, who runs this noble initiative, says, “We have set up a dedicated kitchen for this purpose. Every morning, over 1,000 meals are freshly prepared and hygienically heat sealed in food trays.” The food trays are then dispatched to various areas across Delhi-NCR, she says, adding, “our focus is only on the quality of food we serve rather than the quantity.”
The initiative currently works with schools, slums, night shelters, old-age homes, schools for differently-abled, hospitals and construction sites. It is served in a way that they feel special and respected.
While the initiative identifies locations, provides logistical support, sources food ingredients, prepares and packs fresh meals, it’s the support of thousands of donors – a sponsor network – that helps the kitchen thrive. “Since we are fully committed to the cause, more and more donors join us and contribute as part of their individual social responsibility. We are truly overwhelmed by their gracious support,” says Ms Badhwar.
What has surprised us is that parents have now started sending their children to schools because they know they will be well-fed there, she said. While the initiative started last year with just providing healthy food as its focus, it has also started providing for the other needs of the children like toys, books stationary, medicines etc.
“We have been able to diversify in other areas as like-minded people have come forward to support. We have provided people a platform where they can come forward, order meals from us, distribute it themselves or just sponsor it as we take care of rest of the logistics and distribution,” said Ms Badhwar.
Rasoi on Wheels have impacted many lives. After its intervention, the quality of life of many people bettered. While children became regular for school, adults stopped begging and started selling flowers, books, other knick-knacks for a living.
Going ahead, Rasoi On Wheels plans to expand, have a bigger kitchen which can prepare at least 5,000 meals daily, have additional vans for distribution and wishes to add more volunteers and workers as well. “We just wish to connect with more like-minded people who can support us so that ‘ghar jaisa khana (home-like food) can be provided to the underprivileged,” says Ms Badhwar.