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Great Punjab, the Food Heroes during COVID-19

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Currently Great Punjab is making & distributing 1500 meals a day. All the meals are prepared at the restaurant by my staff who live in the staff rooms above the restaurant. The restaurant is cleaned and sanitized every morning and evening, and all the staff wear hair nets, gloves and masks. Most of the time, our existing suppliers have been very kind to supply all the necessary groceries to us. However, at times I have to go source some unavailable items from local vendors. The staff start preparing the meals at 8am, and the meals are usually ready by around noon. They provide meals such as dal khichdi, vegetable biryani, vegetable pulao, Rotis and subzi and the likes. The meals are packed in foil containers that hold 450ml of food – however each box that we pack is around 400ml so that it is easy to transport without it overflowing. The restaurant has got big cardboard boxes that hold around 150 containers. They chose to deliver the food in foil containers and cardboard boxes rather than reusable material so we can maintain strict hygiene levels and reduce any contamination.

Now where do these meals go?

They have hired the services of a helpful taxi driver to delivers the meals from Great Punjab to bandra every afternoon. To ensure his safety, we have provided him with gloves and masks for the delivery. The meals are sent to:

  • 550 of these meals are sent to a friend of mine in bandra who then distributes it amongst his locality
  • 200 of these meals go to a NGO by the name of Spreading Smiles of Joy
  • 300 meals go to a friend of mine in Parel who then distributes it amongst his locality
  • 80 meals go to daily workers at a construction site in lalbaug
  • 200 meals go to Dharavi to an employee of my mom who distributes them in his locality
  • 150 meals go to the needy people near SIWS College which is around the corner from my house
  • Any remaining meals are personally delivered by Dhruveer Singh Gandhi to needy people.

Says Dhruveer, “I have a contact that lives at each location so I can drop the meals off to them myself and they distribute it amongst their locality. This way I know the meals are going to the right places and are not wasted.

We all know that 1500 meals are just scratching the surface compared to the number of hungry people in Mumbai. Currently we are making 1500 meals a day, however we are trying to increase that number with the resources we have.”

With the contributions that Dhruveer has received via friends, family, The Rotary club of Bombay SeaCoast & The Rotary Club of Mumbai Sion and my fellow Mayoites these are the things we purchased:

  • Groceries
  • foil containers
  • Cardboard boxes
  • cleaning supplies & sanitizers
  • Gloves, masks & hairnets
  • Taxi drivers daily transport fee
  • Gas cylinders for cooking
  • Water for the Police and Essential service providers on the road who continue to do their diligent duty

About author
a senior journalist, clarity coach, classical dancer, panel moderator and an eternal optimist.
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