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Posted at: Dec 8, 2018, 2:33 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2018, 2:33 AM (IST)

City-based NGO comes to aid of poor, provides meal at Rs10

City-based NGO comes to aid of poor, provides meal at Rs10
Members of Daswandh, an NGO, serve food to residents in Jalandhar. Sarabjit Singh

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, December 7

With an aim to feeding at least 200 poor persons daily, a city-based NGO, ‘Daswandh’, is providing meal for Rs 10 from a stall called ‘Daswandh Rasoi’ which they had set up at SCO 52, Urban Estate, Phase I, near Gurdwara Singh Sabha. It serves hygienic and nutritious food between 6:30 pm to 8 pm.

While chapattis and rice are a part of the regular menu on the list, vegetable dish varies. Members of the NGO have fixed different vegetable dish for each day, one day it is sambar, the other day rajma chole and so on. Sweets are also on the menu.

When asked that how this idea of a goodwill venture that gives food and clothes to the needy at a subsidised rate of Rs 10 struck his mind, cancer surgeon Inderdeep Singh, the mastermind behind ‘Daswandh Rasoi’ and one of the seven founding members of the team, said: “I was inspired from organisations which are working to eliminate hunger from the country. We cannot deny the fact that hundreds of people go to bed on an empty stomach each night in our country, but what I believe is that it can be avoided if just a handful of us pledge to help them.”

He said they started the initiative three months ago, on September 1, and at that time they were just a team of seven members, but at present, the team had grown and over 25 persons had joined hands and people from nearby localities too come to offer help while they distribute food among the poor.

Dr Inderdeep said: “When we received good response and saw long queues coming up for the meal, one of my team members, Dr Abhinav Mehta, gave the idea of collecting old clothes from residents, getting it dry-cleaned and distributed the same among the poor for Rs 10.”

When asked about the meal expenses and how the NGO is fetching funds, Dr Mehta said: “For the first month, we three friends — me, Parminder Singh, Dr Inderdeep Singh — contributed Rs 50,000 each and raised funds for September. Over the time, when people came to know about the NGO, we started getting help. Our daily expenses cost Rs 6,500 and we do not take cash for food. We ask people to provide raw food and have a permanent cook and other staff who prepare meal under the supervision of the team.”

Besides, the NGO has helped many poor patients in their treatment at private hospitals. Recently, it has paid a cheque for Rs 35,000 to a poor family to treat their pre-mature baby at Ankur Hospital.

It has also organised a number of health awareness, anti-cancer and tree plantation drives and is running a Daswandh scholarship scheme for general category students.

Other initiatives

Besides the meal and clothes, the NGO has helped many poor patients in their treatment at private hospitals. Recently, it has paid a cheque for Rs 35,000 to a poor family to treat their pre-mature baby at a local hospital. The NGO has also organised a number of health awareness, anti-cancer and tree plantation drives and is running a Daswandh scholarship scheme for general category students.

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