Rishi, a resident of Delhi’s Shiv Vihar, had lost his job of delivering food packets for the popular food aggregator Zomato just before the nationwide lockdown last year. Staring at an uncertain future and worried about sustaining his family, Rishi decided to launch a business of his own.
He had been involved in delivering food for a long time and knew the restaurant sector well. He, therefore, felt quite at ease to begin a business of preparing and distributing food. Rishi started a home kitchen and served students and office-goers living in hostels nearby.
However, soon disaster struck. With a stringent lockdown in place, most of his customers left for home. Rishi had no other option but to shut his kitchen down. He was distraught.
Rishi’s fortunes changed after one of our sewa volunteers Kartikeya met him. We needed a kitchen and a few cooks to fuel our free food distribution initiative.
Our founders rescued Rishi and his family and employed them to prepare food for our campaigns. We had served a lot of people during the lockdown, and Rishi and his family contributed handsomely.
Rishi had never cooked food in such large quantities. He involved his wife, mother and sister in the work. We would ask him to prepare 100-150 thalis a day and pay him on per thali basis. We bought thalis from Rishi’s kitchen for more than 100 days in a row. This way, Rishi was able to recoup the losses suffered during the lockdown and his family could tide over the difficulties.
After working with the foundation for almost three months, Rishi has resumed his business. He has even hired a few delivery boys.
Kartikeya calls Rishi often to place food orders. ” A woman from Bihar was asked by the media why she didn’t take food from government-run kitchens, to which, the woman replied that this bhaiyya (Rishi) served the tastiest food,” Kartikeya said.
Success stories as that scripted by Rishi keep us motivated to do what we do. Serving people in need has always been our goal and we wish to reach as many people as we can.