A small initiative by three young jawans in Palasa, Andhra Pradesh, some years ago, has now become a mission to feed beggars and destitute and the poor, and ensure that they do not remain hungry.
Three jawans posted at different parts of the country came to Palasa railway station about three years ago to visit their homes. The jawans, upon seeing beggars and homeless people and the poor sitting at the station in Andhra Pradesh, hungry and asking for food, came up with an initiative to feed them.
“Moved by their plight, we decided to do something for beggars and homeless. We launched a service activity under the banner Swami Vivekananda Seva Samithi (SVSS). Initially, we prepared food at our village and served it to the beggars at Palasa railway station,’’ Rapaka Kiran, one of the founders of the SVSS, told The New Indian Express.
Besides Kiran, who is attached to Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the others are Bunny of Assam Rifles and Dharma of BSF. They hail from Gollamakannapalli village in Palasa mandal. They later started a food bank at Palasa, from where they began collecting leftover food from function venues and hotels to feed those who are hungry.
600 youths from different parts of the district joined the Samithi, inspired by the jawans’ work. Now the initiative is also being implemented in Mandasa, Sompeta and Haripuram.
The samithi not only collects leftover food to satiate the hunger of the destitute and poor, but also mobilises funds and prepares food. They feed about 100 poor people a day, on an average.
“Responding to our social service, hotel managements and function organisers are providing the leftover food to the Samithi for distribution to the poor. Some people are also coming forward to sponsor food distribution on special occasions. The Samithi is also extending other services to the poor and needy people. As we have set up a fund for implementation of service activities, we provide money to the poor patients in medical emergencies. Members of the Samithi also donate blood regularly,” Kiran said.
“When I posted a message on social media seeking four units of blood for an open heart surgery of my mother about a year ago, SVSS members immediately responded and donated blood,’’ said Bhagyalakshmi Brahma of Muktapuram in Meliaputti mandal. Later, she also joined the organisation to serve the society.G Ramu of Palasa said several people in the town make it a point to call the Samithi if they have more leftover food. “This way, we are able to contribute to satisfy the hunger of the poor,’’ he added.