The Annamrita Foundation Supports Needy in COVID-19 Hard Times
The Annamrita Foundation, formerly known as the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, has the privilege of giving people not only relief from hunger but also the promise of life.
The Annamrita Foundation stood up, proactively, and their team started to prepare for the problems that could emerge in the future. As soon as the schools, too, were shut down in Haryana on 18 March, the foundation pressed its fleet of 100 food vehicles to deliver a life-sustaining dry ration that is grain distribution to more than 2,500 schools, which is acting as a boon out of the heavenly kitchen. These are the same vehicles that once transported educational enriching cooked midday meals.
When the call of duty comes out, the powerless warriors of this foundation step out irrespective of their personal health. If in the past calamities have hit, such as floods, landslides or earthquakes, you still find them on the front lines. It was therefore no surprise that the chapter of the Annamrita Foundation in Haryana displayed exemplary bravery in the face of calamity.
Their advance preparation to prepare for the Novel COVID-19 pandemic is nothing short of a standard case-study. The moment the virus began to exhibit its lethal pangs, in the direction of wiping the population, shutting down their immune systems, stepped in, the unsung heroes, the nutrition team, the people who became MOTHERS.
The goal and purpose behind the change were to get each of the poor and impoverished 2.5 lakh hungry school children of the primary and upper primary schools of government, to get the raw material for a nutritious diet-for the balance duration of March 18th to 31st.
The children were euphoric, emphatic, ecstatic and, most importantly, less hungry, as they could now prepare and share cooked meals with their families in the comfort of their own homes. Once Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the lockdown for 21 days, the Annamrita Foundation took off their socks and took ‘again’ their shoes of responsibility and carried out a similar experiment in grain delivery for the entire month of April, in these extremely difficult circumstances.
Two Thousand and Five Hundred (2500) schools got tons of material from the drivers, the loaders and the administration staff-agents! The brave hearts of the foundation had to ensure many issues, including, for example, the sanitization of grains and their containers, the cleanliness of vehicles, the quantification of the specifications of each school, the unloading of materials in classrooms, and the linkage with the SPOC concerned (which is the specified single point of contact) that is the teachers at the school ensuring compliance with social distances, etc.
It was only love in the heart for the hungry poor 2.5 lakh school children that kept them alive, for this foundation has been feeding midday meals in Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Palwal and Gurugram for the past 15 years and has created a sense of maternal warmth for each of the underprivileged school children.
Dhananjaya Krishna Das, Vice-Chairman, North India, Annamrita Foundation said, “This missionary zeal is rightly inspired by His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, who established the Foundation on these principles back in 2003 when ISKCON Delhi’s first 500 meals were served.”
“He encourages us by making us understand the teachings of Lord Krishna that is” Para-Upkara “meaning helping others, and we’re already going all the way out to support students who take HIGH RISK ON OUR LIVES as well.”
He also claimed that, in view of the current situation, when the lockdown was extended again until 3 May, it was envisaged that several such missions would be needed, apart from the mere distribution of grains in the future. Rest assured that these ‘COVID Warriors’ would be seen to function quietly without notice.
These are the unsung heroes. Their zeal and excitement melt even a stone-hearted person as he sees them waking fearlessly in the “Harms Way” and returning with a world full of happy and joyful (endangered) families.