Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan has started distributing 2000 packets of food daily to provide lunch and dinner to the needy across Mumbai amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This gesture in addition to providing monthly ration to one lakh households of daily wage workers associated with the All India Film Employees Confederation.
The actor took to his blog to talk of his social service. “Meanwhile on the personal front .. 2000 packets of food are being given each day for lunch and dinner at various locations over the city .. and the larger bags of a monthly provision about 3000 bags, which would take care of at 12,000 mouths is in process,” he wrote.
He even revealed the locations where the needy were being fed.
“Most of the feeding is taking place at the Haji Ali dargah, the Mahim dargah, the Babulnath Temple, the slum in Bandra and a few other slums in the interior North of the city .. it is so difficult to cover as many as we may want to .. but…”
The actor then highlighted the practical problems faced in transportation of supplies because of the nationwide lockdown.
“The process has its problems .. the lockdown has now made it illegal to step out of the house and living areas .. so even though I have been able to get the bags ready its transportation causes problems,” he wrote.
“One cargo vehicle can carry 50-60 bags of the essential package .. so 3000 packages would involve so many more vehicles .. the vehicles is not the problem , its their movement that is restricted.”
The problem is not just in transportation but also during distribution of food, because slum-dwellers who have been starving over the past few days tend to get unruly and impatient during the distribution of food. This often creates a stampede-like situation.
“The authorities are saying that when the package arrives , people , specially those in the slums for whom the material is specially packed , have not eaten for 3-4 days and they rush for the vehicle to pick up their package, which almost causes a stampede and the Police cannot allow that to happen , with the conditions of ‘social distancing’,”Big B wrote.
The actor also revealed that he gives instructions to carry out the process the right way.
“Even where the daily food is being distributed I have insisted that proper lines are formed keeping distances from one another .. the volunteers, thank the Lord are working tirelessly in extreme conditions to make sure of its proper functioning .. it is a tough task .. but what can be done .. the cues are large and with each passing day are getting bigger and bigger,” he said in his post.
Lauding the people associated with the process, he expressed: “We try to provide .. but getting the provision to reach the needy is an exercise! Something will work out I hope and pray .. I get a video and pictures of all the procedures happening each hour so I can give instructions .. which is a great help .. and of course the team that works day and night is incredibly diligent.”
Meanwhile, Big B also took to Twitter to express words of gratitude for supply warriors who are risking their lives to serve the nation in this hour of crisis.