Beginning this Independence Day, at least 400 families affected by COVID-19 can be assured of hot meals twice a day even as they remain in quarantine. “Any COVID-positive families near Hyderabad in need of food can contact 9505906289. This service is free and we can accommodate up to 400 families. We are launching this service from August 15th to mark Independence Day (sic),” tweeted Prasanna Kumar on Monday. Within no time, people started posting messages for help.

“During the lockdown period in March-April, we distributed food and groceries to about 10,000 people in Hyderabad. I have realised food has once again become a problem for COVID-affected families in quarantine. That’s why I am launching this programme,” said Mr. Kumar, who runs a software company in Bengaluru and has dabbled in the startup space. His effort is aided by a clutch of philanthropists and volunteers who sought to remain anonymous.

Cooking centres

“We have set up two centres for cooking food at Malkajgiri and Miyapur. Some of the affected might want dry rations; we are willing to supply that,” he said.

Since the beginning of COVID-19 lockdown, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has teamed up with an NGO to supply food throughout the city. Using stationary food kiosks, mobile platforms and even door delivery, the civic body has been reaching out to the affected.

As per official statistics, the civic body has dished out 1,30,18,162 free meals between April 5 and August 5.

The effort of the civic body has been aided by NGOs, philanthropists and Good Samaritans who have pitched in during the economic and social distress triggered by COVID-19 lockdown, during the migration of workers from South to North amid job losses.

As thousands of COVID-positive individuals are being asked to stay in home isolation, citizens of Hyderabad again are stepping in to fill a societal need.

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