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  Life   More Features  25 May 2017  Mumbai gets its second community refrigerator

Mumbai gets its second community refrigerator

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 25, 2017, 12:30 am IST
Updated : May 25, 2017, 12:30 am IST

After the success of the first community refrigerator in Versova, the city gets its second one in Lokhandwala.

Mumbai has taken another step towards trying that no one goes hungry and at the same time no food is wasted.
 Mumbai has taken another step towards trying that no one goes hungry and at the same time no food is wasted.

The sight of scamps tucking into wholesome food without having to beg for it would fill anyone’s heart. This is something that Mumbai has been experiencing since January this year, as the city got its first community refrigerator in Versova, where donors leave food in the fridge that lesser-privileged people can dig into. The maiden installation of the concept that’s popular abroad and started in Cochin first, has been a success in the city, encouraging its organisers Versova Welfare Organisation and Vateshwar Welfare Organisation to install the second one in Lokhandwala, near the Infiniti Mall.

Mumbai has taken another step towards trying that no one goes hungry and at the same time no food is wasted. Located near a Shiva Temple in Versova, Andheri, the services open at 6:30 am and last till 11 pm. Hemant Gosavi, a flower shop owner near the temple, says, “A lot of regulars, especially those who have started the initiative, keep the food. They come almost every day.” He adds, “Around 30-40 people benefit every day from this.”  The community refrigerator has especially been an absolute gift for the group of hungry children who come to the fridge just before every meal in the hope of picking up something delicious to eat. They share their meals, savouring every bite, relishing every flavour their tongues can sense.

The community refrigerator is located near the Shiva Temple in Versova.The community refrigerator is located near the Shiva Temple in Versova.

Although, the community refrigerator was initially opened for the poor, absolutely anybody can take food from it. Puneet Bhagchandani, who along with his mother Varsha, is one of the everyday caterers for the refrigerator, reveals, “The initiative was initially aimed for the poor, but when people started to realise that the food in here is fresh, more people have started to take food from the fridge.” Hemant proudly says that the refrigerator has never been out of food so far and there are enough donors who dig into their own supplies to keep it filled.

Even though the Lokhandwala refrigerator is not operational yet, it’s just a matter of time before it starts helping the lesser-privileged or those staying away from their families for whom two-minute noodles are a staple diet. About the second fridge installed in Lokhandwala, Advocate Gopal Hegde, the president of the Versova Welfare Organisation, says, “The second fridge has been installed about 6-7 km from the first one. We decided to install it when people and restaurants around there showed considerable interest in joining the movement.” The slogan of the project, as Advocate Gopal says, is ‘towards dignified living’. Motivated by more than just feeding people, he emphasises on the importance of the need to be able to take food without begging, with dignity.

Tags: versova welfare organisation, community refrigerator, lokhandwala refrigerator