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Sreetama Basu

Sreetama Basu

Contributor at LifeBeyondNumbers
A senior page three journo, not fitting into a single aspect of the stereotype. On the constant lookout for happy vibes, I land up in some of the happiest places with amazing people to give company. For people who wonder where all my money goes, it's right there in the most remote locations of Himachal. When I'm not travelling, I write.
Sreetama Basu

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In an ever growing country like India, no matter how many acche din come, the one underlying problem is always going to be the huge population of the subcontinent. With the majority of the population falling under the BPL category and daily wage earners, do we even have a count of how many people go to bed each day without having a grain of food? No, we don’t and the number is so high that we probably cannot count it. In such a scenario, it doesn’t really matter whether we have a bullet train or not, right? The least we can do is to make sure that people don’t go to bed hungry.

Dr. Issa Fathima Jasmine

Dr. Issa Fathima Jasmine

And that is exactly what Dr. Issa Fathima Jasmine has vowed to do. An orthodontist by profession, the doctor had come up with the idea of setting up a ‘community fridge’ at Elliott Beach in Chennai, where people can deposit their surplus food, either homemade or from restaurants or fruits and vegetables in the fridge and anyone who is hungry can take food from there. No id or registration process is required for it. Needless to say, this step has been a boon to many.

We all have some amount of food left over every day at our homes that get wasted. Initially, I used to give it to a lady sitting outside our home. I soon realized there must be others like her who would be benefited by the food”, said Dr. Issa to Indian Express.

In a country where tonnes of food is wasted every day, there could not have been a more noble step than this. This community fridge is already a hit. Well, the success was inevitable. But there’s more to it. One can even deposit unused household items like old toys, or books, or shoes, or clothes, or even books and copies. There’s a cupboard next to the fridge where people can come and deposit their extra stuff, open to people who need it.

Video: source

This community fridge or ‘Ayyamittu Unn’, as Tamilians call it, was inaugurated on August 20 this year and over 100 people donated food and other stuff in just less than one week. ‘Ayyamittu Unn’ is a one-line poem from the collection Āathichoodi, written by Avvaiyar in Tamil. In English, it translates to “share the food with the needy before you eat”. Isn’t it just an apt title for this initiative?

This noble measure was covered by a lot of media houses. There’s no doubt that this initiative deserves to be applauded. The localites in Chennai already feel that there needs to be a community fridge at every block so that no one goes to bed hungry.

While we stand with Dr. Issa Fathima Jasmine and applaud her for this noble move, we hope that very soon every major Indian city should introduce a community fridge of its own!

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