Breakfast for Re 1: Kitchen run by eunuchs serves needy in Kalyan | Thane News


KALYAN: An organisation of over 5,000 eunuchs has started a kitchen for the needy near the Kalyan railway station where they serve breakfast for Re 1 and a meal for Rs 10.
On the day of its launch, September 7, the kitchen fed at least 270 people, said Poonam Singh, president of Khwahish Foundation and the brain behind the unique initiative. And within a week, it has started serving over 500 customers a day, including relatives of patients admitted at the nearby civic-run Rukminibai Hospital, that too without the help of any government agency or politician.
The kitchen is funded by the members of Khwahish Foundation who daily donate Re 1 of their earnings. A few organisations are also pitching in by donating foodgrains.
“I decided to start the kitchen to feed the needy after seeing people, including those from my community, struggle to get food during the pandemic-induced lockdown,” said Singh, who is fondly called Amma. She reached out to Kalyan resident Samir Shaikh, who was forced to shut his hotel due to some issues, and he immediately agreed to lend out his premises for the kitchen. “We serve poha, upma and sometimes sheera for breakfast and a complete meal comprising two chapatis, one vegetable, rice and dal,” said Sheikh, who handles the kitchen with 12 others, including seven eunuchs.
Kitchen by eunuchs serving 10 meals ‘godsend for many’
They are discriminated against by society and even forced to make ends meet by seeking alms. But an organization of more than 5,000 eunuchs has set a shining example by serving the needy.
A kitchen set up by them near Kalyan railway station is a godsend for many like Titwala resident Ramesh Jadhav, who has got a family member admitted at Rukminibai Hospital. “Besides being affordable, the food is tasty and filling,” he said.
“I am very happy to feed those who can’t afford a decent meal. We feel blessed when they thank us after eating here,” said one of the eunuchs working in the kitchen.
Besides the kitchen for the needy, Khwahish Foundation also runs a training institute at its Dombivli centre imparting employable skills like basic computer, beauty services, mehndi and tailoring to 25 underprivileged people for their financial empowerment.
Komal Patil, a member of the country’s first eunuch musical band who is also associated with Khawahish Foundation, said: “I have worked with many eunuch groups across the country, but the work done by Amma of serving food to the needy at minimal cost is laudable.”
Thane district collector Rajesh Narvekar too had extolled praise for the eunuchs’ group when inaugurating the kitchen last week.





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