You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.
CMC Vellore sees an average of 9,000 Outpatients and an additional 2,000 inpatients every day. Most of the inpatients who come for treatment are daily wage workers. They come from far away and stay in Vellore for days or weeks while undergoing treatment. Although the hospital provides free or highly subsidised treatment, they face many indirect expenses like food, accommodation and travel.
The Manna Meal Scheme (MMS) was started in 2015 when the staff of CMC saw the need to reach out and provide food for their patients who could not afford their next meal. Till today, the scheme is funded and managed by current and ex-staff of CMC. The patients who stay at CMC’s Chatram are given a free meal every day through the scheme.
After the lockdown was announced on the 24th of March, many patients in Vellore, are unable to go home. Some of them had even completed the course of their treatment. They find it hard to pay the rent for stay and struggle for their next meal. During the crisis the MMS has been extended to help many other stranded patients who are struggling for food.
ROHIT’S LOCKDOWN STORY
Rohit* and his family from West Bengal are stranded in Vellore. Rohit has a rare type of skin cancer. He has been a patient at CMC for over a decade. His health is improving after surgery and regular chemotherapy. His doctors gave him the good news that he could go back home. He packed their bags, eagerly looking forward to the long trip home. But the lockdown was declared and their train was cancelled. Like millions around the country, Rohit and his family are stranded far away from home. CMC has rallied around to help families like Rohit’s.
Since the lockdown, the MMS has provided over five thousand meals free of cost!
How does it work
Patients who need help are identified. They are given food tokens which they use to get food at the canteen.The cost of 6 meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) per patient plus one caregiver per day is Rs. 250.
After the Covid 19 crisis, the MMS, will continue to help with free meals for the patients at Chatram.