Gurugram, Haryana, India | 17th April 2020: A Foundation namely Annamrita, formerly known as ISKCON Food Relief Foundation carries forward the joy of giving people not just relief from hunger but the hope of living.
The Annamrita Foundation stood up, pro-actively and their team started planning for the challenges that might pose in the future. No sooner the schools too were shut down in Haryana on 18th March, the foundation pressed into service its fleet of 100 food vehicles for the delivery of life-sustaining dry ration that is grains distribution to the more than 2,500 schools, which is acting as a boon straight out of heaven’s kitchen. These are the same vehicles that were once transporting education enriching cooked midday meal.
As the call of duty comes forth, the selfless warriors of this foundation, venture out regardless of their personal safety. Whenever in the past any calamities have struck like floods, landslides or any such disasters, you always find them on the front lines.
Therefore, it was not a surprise that the Haryana chapter of Annamrita Foundation, had shown exemplary courage in the face of the calamity.
Their advance planning of getting geared up for the Novel COVID-19 pandemic is nothing but short of a model case-study. The moment the virus started showing its deadly pangs, towards swiping the masses – shutting their immune systems down – they stepped in, the unsung heroes – the nutrition squad, the MEN who became MOTHERS.
The purpose and motive behind the move was to have each of the poor and deprived 2.5 lakh hungry school children of government primary and upper-primary schools, get the raw material for a balanced diet – for a balance period March 18th till 31st.
The children were euphoric, emphatic, ecstatic, and more importantly less hungry, for they could now prepare and share the cooked meals with their families in the security of their own homes.
When the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the lockdown for 21 days, Annamrita Foundation pulled up their socks and stepped into its shoes of responsibility ‘again‘ and carried out, the similar exercise of grains delivery for the full month of April, under these extremely trying circumstances.
Two Thousand and Five Hundred (2500) schools were given Tonnes of material by the drivers, loaders and these administration staff-agents!
The brave-hearts of the foundation had to ensure many things, including, the sanitization of grains and it’s gunny bags, cleanliness of vehicles, quantifying requirement of every school, unloading the material in schools, and then liaising with the concerned SPOC (who is the designated single point of contact) that is the teachers at school ensuring compliance of Social distancing etc.
It was only and only the love in the heart for the poor hungry 2.5 lakh school children which kept them going, for this foundation has been feeding midday meals in Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Palwal and Gurugram for the past 15 years and has developed a sense of motherly warmth for each of those underprivileged school children.
Dhananjaya Krishna Das, Vice-Chairman, North India, Annamrita Foundation said, “This missionary zeal is duly motivated by his Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj who established the Foundation on such principles way back in 2003 when the first 500 meals were served from ISKCON Delhi.”
“He inspires us by making us understand the teachings of Lord Krishna that is “Para-Upkara” meaning helping others, therefore we already are going all the way out to serve the students taking HIGH RISK ON OUR LIVES as well.”
He further stated that observing the current situation when the lockdown has again been extended until May 3rd, they envisage that many such missions will be required apart from just distribution of the grains in the future too. Rest assured these ‘COVID Warriors‘ will be seen silently working without recognition.
These are those unsung heroes. Their zeal and enthusiasm melts even a stonehearted person as he observes them waking fearlessly in the “Harms way” and returning with a world full of satiated and joyful (endangered) families.