‘Visappinu Vida’ (Say No to Hunger) is a joint venture by Fishermen Community Development Programme (FCDP) and Theeradesha Mahila Society (TMS) to provide a meal every day to the homebound elderly, ailing, senior citizens in the coastal areas of Kollam district, Kerala. Visappinu Vida provides 100+ meals a day to the sick especially from poor financial backgrounds. Coupled with the floods in the previous years and the fear of the COVID 19 pandemic, Onam celebrations in Kerala this year were in faded colours. However, Mahabali surprised the elderly by personally delivering their daily food, thrilling them with the experience. After warmly greeting them for Onam, Mahabali delivered packets of delicious Onam food with two types of payasam, and a gentle reminder to be cautious against COVID 19.
The Visappinu Vida project started on 1 April 2017 and now reaches 100+ elders with a meal for the day, covering a 25 km radius of the Kollam coast from Thanni to Thankassery. Apart from the mid-day meal distribution, the beneficiaries are provided with health services, as well as ration kits and vegetables for deserving families.
Till date, the project has supplied over 125,000 meals. The meal is prepared at the FCDP catering unit. The cooking preparations begin early in the morning and the meals are ready for distribution by 11.00 am. The meal packets are dispatched in an e-autorickshaw to different houses by volunteers. Every Friday, a special committee inspects the quality of food and updates the progress of the project. On auspicious occasions, different food items are prepared according to the taste and choice of the beneficiaries.
The project is financially supported through the generous contributions of donors. Fr. Joby Sebastian SDB, Director-FCDP says, ‘It gives immense joy and satisfaction that we are able to distribute the meals on a daily basis without missing it even for a single day since the starting of the project.” Dr. Sindha Mendez -Chairperson, FCDP, and Sr. Mary Karuvelil -Assistant Director-TMS led the distribution of meals on the occasion of Onam.
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