Manipal Community Fridge at Tiger Circle revived post lockdown2 min read
MANIPAL: A community fridge installed at Tiger Circle by the Manipal branch of Lions Club in association with Syndicate Bank in October 2018, in order to supply fresh, vegetarian food to the underprivileged was recently revived post the COVID-19 lockdown. This joint venture started with a motto of ‘One step towards making a hunger-free society’ and works towards helping those who are unable to get regular access to clean and nutritious food.
The fridge which was installed under a collaborative project called ‘Santripti’ is maintained and cleaned by the auto-rickshaw drivers at Tiger Circle under the Autorickshaw Drivers and Owners Association, Manipal. It functions only through independent donations, while the operating expenses are handled by the Lions Club. The project also saw ample involvement from students of TMA Pai Management Institute, Manipal (TAPMI), who helped organise the program.
With many canteens volunteering to donate food to the cause, the community fridge was successful in providing nutritious food to the needy before the pandemic. However, the imposition of the lockdown affected the pace at which the fridge was restocked.
“There were two to three organisations who came forward (to supply food). But recently, because of the pandemic, everything was closed,” said Sarita Santhosh, Former President and current Director of Lions Club. “During the lockdown, we went to the slums and distributed a lot of food, we raised funds to that effect and were able to feed them for about three months of the pandemic,” she added. Now, the fridge is kept open between 10:30 am to 12:20 pm and 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm every day. The installation cost Rs. 30,000 and an estimate of Rs. 3,000 per month is required for its maintenance- both of which are covered by Syndicate Bank.
According to the autorickshaw drivers at the Tiger Circle, one of the chief donors of food for the fridge currently is the Dwarakamai Shri Sai Baba Temple at Shankarapura, who regularly bring packed vegetarian food to stock up the fridge in the afternoons. “The food donated to the fridge helps a few homeless people in the area, who often take food as per their requirements.” said one of the auto drivers at Tiger Circle.
The community fridge is meant for the economically backward sections of the locality who are unable to afford meals on a regular basis and strictly states the food items which are not permitted, such as unpacked or expired products, leftover food, rotten items or non-vegetarian food. Any individual or organisation can donate as long as the above conditions are being followed.
The Manipal Branch of Lions Club also distributed Rs. 1,40,000 worth of food grains and other food supplies to slum areas in the vicinity during the initial three months of the lockdown.
Featured Image Courtesy: Prayaag Sengupta
Edited by: Diya Nayak