Maa kitchens: A blessing for the needy during pandemic
KOLKATA: The unique initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — "Maa Common Kitchen" — has turned a blessing for thousands of people as meals are being provided at only Rs 5 in the state's urban areas even during the Covid pandemic.
It was the Chief Minister's idea to introduce the "Maa Kitchen" to help people get cooked food at a minimum price. The common kitchen are run mainly by Self Help Groups and operates from 1 pm to 3 pm on all days. The state government provides a subsidy of Rs 15 per plate so that people can have the same at only Rs 5.
At the time of Covid, the demand for the meals has gone up. Not only the poor, but also a large section of people, who stay alone, collect food from the common kitchen.
Shila Das, who works at a common kitchen at Ganesh Chandra Avenue, said: "In some cases, when an elderly person is left alone after the other member in the family got admitted to hospital for Covid treatment, he or she collects food from the kitchen. We try to provide food to maximum number of people."
At least, 350 people collect meals on an average from a Maa common kitchen. There are around 50 points in districts including Howrah, Balurghat, Krishnanagar and Midnapore and several places including Chetla and Girish Park under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) where Maa common kitchens are being run.
"My husband is Covid positive. He is at Safe Home. He is a daily wage earner. I along with my children take food from Maa common kitchen every day," said a beneficiary.