Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry) is a beautiful union territory in southern India where the COVID-19 crisis is very evident. Sasi Kanta Dash, Principal of Tagore Government Arts and Science College in Pondicherry, decided to answer this crisis with an act of humanity towards the needy people.
Dash believes that a crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things we could not do before. To this he said; “This phrase has proved absolutely true for me.” Initiated in March, he has been distributing hot meals to those confined in their homes during the lockdown. He also opened a WhatsApp group with elderly citizens to help with prescriptions and medicines from pharmacies.
On the first day, he fed 250 people with the intention of giving back to society. The joy of giving had hit Dash and there was no going back. After his first day, he expressed; “We didn’t know the extent of the lockdown when it was announced for the first time on March 24th. But the immense satisfaction at the end of the first day catalyzed the actions for the future.” He continues providing people with food and even basic cooking supplies like rice, sugar, salt, oil, assorted vegetables, and lentils. The worldly crisis did bring out the humble and giving self in him.
He expanded his project to also serve people who lived on per day income from commercial or public places. This expansion has been possible because of the local organizations that came forward to help in the time of crisis. On the 40th day, Dash was overwhelmed to convey that; “Today, June 3rd, we have entered the 40th day of food distribution and more than 10,000 meals have been served. The food prepared under the supervision of volunteers to ensure quality, hygiene, and nutrition content. And we have a group of 20 volunteers who have come forward to extend their support.”
Sasi Kanta Dash is an advocate of a clean and green economy and environment and works as an organizer. Besides, a member of numerous planting and cleaning drives in Puducherry. He continues to provide for over a thousand disadvantaged people even as this crisis continues.
By: Nehla Zohaira, SAVED News International Correspondent, South Asia
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