Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], October 3 (ANI): Moved by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dosapati Ramu, a human resource executive in a corporate firm started a 'Rice ATM' to feed the poor and needy during the lockdown.
Speaking to ANI, Ramu said that initially he served cooked food to nearly 150 people per day but later he started distributing groceries to the people in need.
"During the lockdown, I along with a few of my friends started serving cooked food to nearly 150 migrant labours and after the lockdown has been lifted, I initiated this 'Rice ATM' and started to distribute groceries to the needy and poor round-the-clock every day."
Ramu said the inspiration behind the humanitarian work is a security guard he knew who bought 20 kilograms of chicken with her salary of Rs 6,000 to feed labourers during the lockdown.
"Inspired by the security guard, I started this Rice ATM to help the needy who have no work and money due to this Corona pandemic," he said.
As per Ramu, he thought that the Rice ATM can be discontinued when the lockdown was been lifted in June and trains started running, but then he realised that the situation of daily labour and daily workers is getting far worse due to lack of work during the pandemic.
"We then started giving groceries to the needy people. We have been providing the groceries for the last 172 days. Some days the count of the people who visit to take groceries maybe only 20 to 30 but some days it might reach 150 to 200 people. We don't know how they came to know about this but the message that a guy is providing ration to the poor spread like wildfire and people reach me every day seeking help," he said.
Remembering an incident where school teachers called him seeking help, Ramu said, "Due to this corona pandemic, the school teachers faced a lot of problem as they were not being paid their salary by the school management. I even received calls from teachers seeking help. And so in the last month, we distributed monthly groceries to nearly about 750 teachers."
Ramu and his friends distribute groceries to senior citizens monthly, and also COVID-19 infected people.
"We distribute 15 days' kit to pregnant women and single women to help them feed themselves and their families and then we distribute five days' kit to labourers," he said. He also helped the daily wage labours to find work and earn a living. Elaborating on that Ramu said, "We note the names of labourers who are unable to find any work and try to provide them with some work so that they can at least earn something."
"I wish for a day when I come out of the house and see no one asking me for help. This corona pandemic must end soon," he said.
He wished that no one must go to bed hungry and no one must die of hunger. (ANI)