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Daily Meals Programme of Wishes and Blessings brings food to thousands of lesser privileged ones

By auther pic. Shilpa Tiwari

June 26, 2020

Daily Meals Programme of Wishes and Blessings brings food to thousands of lesser privileged ones

Khichdee enjoyed by older folks who have lesser teeth and weaker digestion systems.

The belly rules the mind says the Spanish proverb so empty bellies might even give rise to a devil’s mindset. Not so, in case we have Daily Meal providers working for the lesser privileged ones. Dr Geetanjali Chopra’s eyes shone bright while she recalled how “magical” it was to step up from being a mere 600 daily meals provider to achieving an unbelievable level of taking care of thousands of lesser privileged daily.

 

Dr. Chopra, who is the founder of a South Delhi-based NGO, Wishes and Blessings, expressed her delight saying, “I could never have imagined that WB could do this.” The explosion “happened overnight when the figure shot up from 600 meals to 9000 daily meals.” The sudden lock-down due to Corona virus spread provided opportunities for this NGO to serve its beneficiaries across seven states.

 

The Delhi based NGO, Wishes and Blessings ran WB’s flagship project the Daily Meals Programme serving three meals a day to 600 lesser privileged until the announcement of the lock down due to Corona virus. The Daily Meals Programme expanded overnight due to the prevailing lockdown to serve meals to over 9000 people.

Daily Meals Programme serves hot and rich nutritional diet of Poori - Sabji to work force.

The Daily Meals Programme has evolved with a view to cater to a large section of society that is suffering undernourishment and malnutrition. Reports throw a ghastly figure of 195.9 million people who suffer from malnourishment and disorders related to lack of nutrition. This calls for an urgent and impactful change that enables change and implementation of gigantic proportions, bringing in the efforts and impact of Daily Meals Programme.

 

Daily Meals Programme was initiated in 2015 with a single focus of catering to the hungry. Under this programme, three hot and nutritious meals are served on a daily basis to the homeless and the lesser privileged. The meals are prepared under strict hygiene conditions keeping in mind the nutritional needs of the beneficiaries. Taking baby steps, the program started by feeding a small number of 60 underprivileged women and children three hot and nutritious meals on a daily basis.

Children trained to express gratitude to the Lord in forms of hymns before beginning the meals at Daily Meals Programme.

Significantly, the beneficiaries are anyone and everyone who belong to the lesser privileged societies. The destitute, the down trodden, the old and uncared for living in old age homes, the visually impaired, the orphans, the sex-workers, the marginalised and many other – says Dr. Chopra, “we stop at no one.”After being provided with a healthy diet daily, the beneficiaries are happy enough to have sustained energy for the day. This ensures the physical and mental development especially of children and youth and keeps them focussed on their priorities.

Clean tables in spacious rooms with cooling systems means additional care and peace at Daily Meals Programme. 

Sustained food supply means stronger immunities amongst children and stronger resistance to falling ill. An added advantage of happy stomachs is a better attendance at school. This naturally leads to a better result and overall satisfaction to the NGO. This is how the Daily Meals Programme measures its success. As a chain of reaction - the children do not worry about their next meal and are able to focus on their studies. This certainly helps them to break out of the cycle of poverty. As a result, children are able to envision a bright future where they can think clearly for themselves and carve a better future. The destitute feel cared for while the marginalised sections do not feel left out – thanks to the daily meals served hot.

 

So how does this project sustain itself in order to sustain the food supply of thousands? The execution of this project has provided a detailed thinking through even the smallest of consideration. Under the Daily Meals Programme, the organisation is serving three meals per day to 1,200 people across Delhi/NCR.

 

Linking donors and beneficiaries, the organisation acts as a platform that connects those who are needy from the lesser privileged groups of society to those who can help to fulfil the grander mission of causing smiles and contentment. The Daily Meals Programme is supported by CSR funding as well as individual donors. The1200 localised sponsorships help sustain the regularity of the Daily Meals Programme. Each sponsorship of Rs.1100 per month easily serves an underprivileged three nutritious meals daily. It only takes a quarterly commitment of Rs 3300 per sponsor that feeds one person 270 meals for a period of 3 months.

 Hot meals that is also nutritional is equal to increase in happy quotient, especially amongst children

Asked about their favourite food choices, children shyly answered “aloo paratha,” “jam and bread” while a young girl even quipped for “poha.” Other delights on the menu card for breakfast include Curd, Paratha, Butter and Milk. Hot and nutritious lunch provides vegetable, curry, rice and roti while dinner includes vegetable, dal, rice and roti.

 

A natural extension of the Daily Meals Programme is the Wishes and Blessings Covid Relief Project. At its peak, the project served 3 meals/day to 15,000 homeless and daily wagers across 4 states- Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (45,000 meals/day). During current times when we are facing the pandemic, the organisation is looking after the nutritional needs of 35,000 – 45,000 at-risk individuals. The NGO not only continues to be a useful hand but is determined to support beyond the lockdown.

 

The lock down has indeed kept community providers busy. Dr Chopra says, “when situations come my way, I try to inculcate them, I try to adapt them.” And what could be a more demanding situation than a pandemic that has hit the world. Dr. Chopra has wonderfully adapted and braced herself towards the dire need of the day by understanding the need to reach out to multitudes. In Delhi-NCR, under the Covid Relief Project the team provides food supplies in areas such as Anand Parbat, Jamia, Minto Road, AIIMS, Ghazipur, Old Delhi, Dhundela in Gurugram, New Friends Colony Maidangarhi, as well as shelter homes all over the city.

 

Such commendable efforts will not only allow situations to dwindle further but also encourage social entrepreneurial spirit to prevail in the society. Considering the prevailing pandemic, The Daily Meals Programme comes in just at this juncture of dire needs in order to readily address to the benevolent spirit that causes changes in order to impact thousands in the society. Under Phase XIX of the Daily Meals Programme, that was launched on 1st June, 2020, the organisation is serving 3 meals/day to 1,200 destitute children, women, men and elderly across Delhi/NCR.

 

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Author

Shilpa Tiwari is a New Delhi based Content Specialist with three decades of experience. She has worked extensively on a variety of researches and curricula across K12, Higher Education, Corporate and Social Development sectors. A Master’s degree in English Literature and a degree in French from Delhi University, alongwith International Business Programme from IIFT, most certainly provides Shilpa an added expertise to work as a Consultant on various research and consulting projects with Corporates, Educational Institutions, Publications, CSR Foundations and NGOs.

 

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