Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 25
It was a big day for a food vendor, as his act of offering free “chhole-bhature” to those getting vaccinated found a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ today.
“I am thankful to the Prime Minister who mentioned me in his address. It was unexpected. It will encourage not only me but also others who are working like me,” said Sanjay Rana, who sells “chhole-bhature” on a bicycle at the market of Sector 29-C.
The PM said: “To eat Sanjay Rana ji’s ‘chhole-bhature’ for free, you have to show that you have got the vaccine administered on the very day. As soon as you show the vaccination message, he will give you delicious ‘chhole-bhature’.”
“It is said that for the welfare of society, the spirit of service and duty is required more than money. Our Sanjay Bhai is proving this saying to be right,” added the PM. He also talked of Chandigarh, describing the UT as a vibrant city, inhabited by a society which throbs rich and exhilarating socio-cultural vein.
Sanjay said about 25-30 persons get free food from him every day. “I have asked my wife to prepare 30 plates extra each day,” shared Sanjay, a resident of Ram Darbar, who hails from a village in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh.
He has also asked a staff member at Seva Bharti in Sector 29, a vaccination centre, to tell people to have free “chhole-bhature” after getting jabbed.
“I have been doing it as ‘desh seva’. I started offering free ‘chhole-bhature’ around two months ago as I felt it was necessary for everyone to get vaccinated and I can do my bit by doing this,” he told Chandigarh Tribune.
His daughter, Riddhima, and niece, Riya, gave him this idea. “They saw somebody offering ‘one plus one free’ offer on TV and asked me why not I do something like this,” smiled Sanjay, who has also encouraged fellow vendors to get jabbed.
After he was praised by the PM, his phone did not stop ringing. He kept getting calls from friends, relatives and media. City BJP president Arun Sood and councillors Bharat Kumar and Shakti Prakash Devshali also visited his house. He was home today being Sunday.
His initiative was earlier lauded by VP Singh Badnore, UT Administrator and Governor of Punjab. “Hats off to the spirit of #Chandigarh hawker! My heart filled with gratitude to see his bit of duty towards his country and the extent of awareness this man has favouring #vaccination and offering free #CholaeBhatura to all those who get vaccinated,” Badnore had tweeted.
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