Jagga’s Food Cart for Project Pathik

Jagga’s Food Cart for Project Pathik

For 32-year-old Jagadeesh from Santhepete area in Karnataka’s Sira town, the lockdown period meant zero business. He and his brother ran an eating joint on a hawker cart — an hotel business of sorts. Both the brothers would set out every morning to their usual spot near the highway NH 206 and sell idli, dosa and pulao. They earned about Rs 400-Rs 500 a day, until the lockdown began on March 25. 

For Jagga (as Jagadeesh is fondly called) and the eight members of his middle class joint family, the lockdown had been tough. The pandemic had brought their business to a screeching halt. “We run our hotel on the roadside. For past two months we have closed it down because of lockdown. This hotel is our only  source of  only way of income and now our condition is very bad.” Jagga had mentioned this to a team from our partner NGO MOTHER, in May. 

MOTHER (Multipurpose Organization For Training, Health, Education And Rehabilitation) is a Sira-based NGO, which along with Oxfam India has played a crucial role in the COVID-19 response. Since the Pathik Project was still on — where cooked meals and safety and hygiene kits were still being distributed — it was decided to rope in Jagga.  

Jagga was asked if he could prepare meals for about 200 people for two days, May 20-21. “Though this was great news, I was a little worried about preparing 100 meals on a such a short notice. So I roped in my family members — wife, brother, mother, aunts — and some of my neighbours. The menu was decided — 100 packets each of pulao and curry (to eat), and roti and curry (packed) on both the days.” A water bottle and a banana each was to be given with the cooked meals. 

The food was prepared and packed at Jagga’s house; this was very useful as they didn’t have to seek permission from the police. Staff from MOTHER were there to guide Jagga’s team on cleanliness and hygiene protocols. They were all provided with masks, hand gloves and head caps along with hand wash. The packing was done hygienically. The team ended up making 227 packets of food. 

“The money we got from these two days came at a very crucial time for all of us,” said Lakshamamma, Jagga’s mother. The decision to bring on board Jagadeesh served two purposes, one that Oxfam India used a local business to complement its project thereby providing some income to the locals, and two, Jagga is now confident of taking on big orders for food deliveries — a win-win situation.   

(with inputs from Pushpalatha (MOTHER) and Vinuthna Patibandla (Oxfam India)) 

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