Amid their patrolling duties to enforce lockdown in the city the JJ Nagar police have been busy with an additional duty — of preparing meals and packing them at the police station every day in the afternoon only to be served to the needy.
The patrolling staff, as soon as the packets are ready, will reach the station to collect them and give it to the homeless found in and around the area.
The city police have faced criticism for their allegedly heavy handed handling in enforcing the lockdown. On the other, they are being hailed for playing good Samaritans and feeding the homeless.
The programme started following orders from Sanjeev Patil, DCP , West division, who was on rounds .
He noticed many homeless people and beggars suffering on the roads without food due to the strict lockdown.
There are many homeless who stay outside mosques and temples depending upon the devotees’ alms, but are now rendered hungry since no one visits these places of worship, D.C. Manju, Inspector , JJ Nagar , said .
“Mr. Patil told us to do something for them and we started making these meals,” he added .
“To begin with, the police pooled in money from their pockets and asked a caterer to prepare food . We brought the prepared food packed in the station and distributed to the homeless found by the patrolling police”, he explained .
But many times, the police personnel prepare the food at the station due to non availability of the caterer.
“So far, we are serving around 70 people in and around the area giving them food in the afternoon. We will continue to do this as people in the area also started to chip in and contribute sometimes,” Mr. Manju added .
This is not an isolated case, there are many stations across the city who are helping the poor and migrant labourers who are hungry due to lack of work .
“So far, we are managing with available resources , but this is a huge task and needs to be addressed at a bigger level quickly,” a police officer who is part of the programme, said .