Amid the surge in coronavirus cases, a woman from a village here in Maharashtra is trying to provide some relief to covid-19 patients and their relatives by delivering home-cooked meals to them free of cost.
Manisha Balaji Waghmare travels about 32 km every day from Kasbe Tadwale village and back on her scooter to deliver around 100 packets of food prepared by her family to patients and their relatives at the Osmanabad district civil hospital.
Waghmare was preparing for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination in Pune, but in the wake of the present coronavirus-induced restrictions across the state, she has temporarily returned home.
Waghmare, who is in her early 20s, said since covid-19 patients and their family members staying at the hospital are unable to prepare food for themselves, she and her parents took it upon themselves to provide them home- cooked food free of cost.
"At this time of crisis, the patients and their relatives need good food, as well as mental and moral support," said Waghmare, who has been delivering the food packets at the hospital since the last 8-10 days.
Asked what inspired her to take up this noble cause, Waghmare said once when her grandfather was ill and admitted in a hospital in Osmanabad, he could not get food there.
"Even we were unable to provide him food. That incident inspired me and my family to do something for those in need," she said.
During the ongoing covid-19 crisis, many patients and their relatives come to the Osmanabad district civil hospital from far off places, she noted.
"They cannot look after themselves or prepare food. Hence, me and my parents decided to provide food to the poor and needy people at the hospital," she said.
Waghmare also appealed to people to come forward and help those in need.
"This health crisis and restrictions due to it have affected people mentally, physically, economically and socially. The poor and daily wagers are suffering the most. Now is the time for us to come together and help each other," she said.