"I saw several people on roads who could not even afford to have one meal and were struggling to survive. I and some of my friends then thought of doing something to help the daily wagers and needy people,"
Pune: Akshay Kothawale a 30-year-old auto-rickshaw driver who saved 2 lakh for his weeding used the entire money to feed the migrant workers and for those distressed on the streets.
Not just this Akshay even offers free rides to pregnant women and elderly to clinics in his vehicles. He also creates awareness on how to protect yourself from the virus over the loudspeaker. Akshay along with his friends prepares the meal for nearly 400 people every day with the money he had saved for his wedding. They then distribute the food amongst the poor and migrant laborers around the city.
Coming from a humble background Kothawale says he feels happy helping the needy in this crisis situation.
"I saw several people on roads who could not even afford to have one meal and were struggling to survive. I and some of my friends then thought of doing something to help the daily wagers and needy people, I decided to use my savings for the cause and some of my friends also chipped in," said Kothawale who lives in the Timber market are in Maharashtra.
They set up a kitchen to prepare Chapatis and Sabji to distributed in the place where the needy and migrant laborer gathers.
He said, "Using my auto-rickshaw, we distribute one-time meal among people at Maldhakka Chowk near the railway station, Sangamwadi and Yerawada areas,"
Now they have replaced chapati and sabzi with pulao, sambar, masala rice since his cash reserve is drying up.
"But, we are continuing distribution of food among the migrant laborers and those in need," he said.
The group intends to feed the migrant laborer and needy till the 31st of May with the little reserve they have.
Kothawale and his friends have also put up a loudspeaker on the rickshaw and drive around creating awareness amongst people about coronavirus and its protection measures. They have also distributed masks and sanitizers to street dwellers.
Kothawale said, "Amid the lockdown, I am also offering free rides in the auto-rickshaw to senior citizens and pregnant women who need to visit a doctor".
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