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Home > News > PTI

Now, a helpline for the hungry

Parag Dave in Ahmedabad | October 06, 2006 10:10 IST

In an effort to help poor and needy people find food, Gujarat government has collaborated with non-profit organisations to start 'hunger helplines' across the state, a first-of-its-kind project in the country.

The objective of starting such a project with food charity organisations is to satisfy the basic hunger of people on regular days as well as during natural calamities like floods and earthquake, Gujarat Food and Civil Supply Secretary S K Nanda told PTI.

"There are many organisations in every city of Gujarat, which provide food to poor and needy people either free of cost or at very nominal rates. On the other hand there are many people who cannot afford to have two meals a day. The helpline will try to connect the needy to the donors," Nanda said.

A pilot project 'hunger helpline' has already started in Surat and around 30 food charity organisations have been clubbed under one organisation, which has been given the responsibility of guiding hungry people to the nearest place in the city where they can get food free of cost.

Those in need for this hepline service just have to call one number to get connected to the 'hunger helpline' and an operator directs them to the nearest charity organisation from the area they are making the call, the official said.

Nanda said many people had successfully used this food helpline during the recent Surat floods. "We have asked the supply officers of all the 25 districts of the state to collect details of such charity organisations. We are negotiating with a private telephone company to provide free service for the state wide installation of this helplines and have requested them to start non-profit call centres for the same," he added.

In the first phase, the state government intends to start these helplines at all district headquartes, Joint Secretary in Food and Civil Supplies Department N R Pandya said, adding later the programme will be extended to taluka centres.

In normal times, the helpline will serve poor and the needy, officials said, adding that it will be very useful during natural calamities like floods, earthquakes and cyclones.

"It has been seen that in such times even well to do people do not know what to do to get basic things like food and water. These helplines will prove to be a boon in such times," they said.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Good idea, hope the implementation is not controversial

This is a commendable idea. Hope the poor man knows how to dial this helpline! Why not make it easy for the poor to find ...

Posted by Gururaj

Sub: Do it have any relevance?

Are you trying to say that poor people who can not afford food will be able to call a number? I suspect if those 'POOR' ...

Posted by Jitendra Soni

Sub: great idea

Hi, great idea. Just if you can keep the perrenial vested interests from spoiling the idea like the Public Distribution system ("ration ki dukaan") has ...

Posted by Jay sharma



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