Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], May 9 (ANI): In a unique initiative, 40 reformed vagabonds have been deployed for the preparation of food meant for the distribution of food amongst more than 4,000 COVID-19 pandemic affected people.
The one-time beggars', picked up by the Rajasthan Police, were skilled in cooking under the Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation ( RSLDC)'s scheme.
In January these vagabonds were registered at Sopan Institute, Jagatpura. Under the food distribution programme, more than four thousand people are given free food every day inside Jaipur's Akshaya Patra Foundation.
Sopan Institute is working in collaboration with Akshay Patra Foundation for this venture.
The services for food preparation are being rendered free of cost.
"We had to guide them in the first few days but now they are all in control of the whole thing. They are laborious and want to move ahead in life," said Saurav Sharma, Production Supervisor.
Food cooked by the group is being served to COVID-19 affected people who are in hospitals.
"They work in batches of 15 each and in two shifts. While a few of them work in the kitchen, a few do the maintenance work. They have changed as people. Earlier, they had to look after themselves now a feeling of service can be seen in their selfless attitudes. They are not asking for money," said Jitendra Pratap Singh, Director, Sopan Institute.
"We are maintaining extreme hygiene standards. Their clothes are being washed, everything is being sanitised. We also monitor their temperatures using thermal screening," Singh added.
At present, Rajasthan has 1,99,147 active coronavirus cases and the state's COVID-related death toll stands at 5,346. (ANI)