Given Rs. 5, what can you buy? Chocolate? No. Ice Cream? No. Vegetables? No. What if we tell that you can buy a whole meal? Unbelievable? Believe it!

Shyamlal, appears to be in his early 60s, wears a tattered shirt and outworn chappals. He has come down to Nagpur from Bhatapara for treatment of a relative. Coming all the way to another city for treatment of a loved one is not merely an emotional but a financial pressure as well. Being churned in puzzlement between hunger and stress on pocket, he is informed about ‘Jhep’ organisation which provides meals to relatives of economically backward patients in as low as Rs. 5.

A medical hub of Central India, Nagpur witnesses a visit of thousands of people for treatment of several diseases every day. With a hope of good health, patients as well as relatives come down to the city. Other than lodging, what burns whole in their pockets is a properly cooked, hygienic meal.

In an admired step, ‘Jhep’ organisation has taken an initiative of providing lunch box to relatives of patients being treated in the city in just Rs. 5. Among numerous hospitals in Dhantoli, lies a tiny shop in front of ‘Gauraksha Sabha’ named ‘Deendayal Lunch Box’.

With an aim to provide food at affordable prices to relatives of patients the initiative was started by Sandeep Joshi, head of ‘Youth Jhep Foundation’.

Buzzing crowd can be seen outside the outlet every day. The only condition to avail the benefit is a ‘Doctor’s slip’, producing which the food can be purchased at such nominal price. A sense of relief is clearly visible among the beneficiaries. The lunch box contains curry and 3 chapattis.

What the people say:

Madhuri Joshi, mother of Sandeep Joshi is elated by the attempt made by her son. She can often be seen administering the work in lunch box centre. “This made should be made by the whole society instead of an individual person or firm. More people should join with this initiative”, says Madhuri.

The initiative will not end even if my son desires:

“Although, my son has started the same, I will never let in stop. I will do as much as possible to continue the same”, she adds while talking to Nagpur Today. The organisation runs on a no-profit-no-loss basis.

A supporter of Sandeep Joshi, Urmila, helps in preparation of food without any salary. “I have had similar experience. My brother was admitted in a hospital in Dhantoli. I had to stay in hospital with him. I have seen the families troubled for a proper meal. As I have gone through their pain, I accepted Joshis’s proposal in no time”, says Urmila.

Campaign is a result of mutual coordination:

Prakash Chanadrayan, Coordinator, Deendayal Lunch Box, informed that they are planning for expansion also. “In upcoming days we will begin distribution in Medical Hospital. At present we distribute around 300 lunch boxers every day”, he said.

“From 11.30 to 1.30 p.m. family members of patients are given lunch. After that the auto drivers are given food. The initiative requires a capital of 2.5 lakh per month. Several people have joined us and have contributed for the same”, added Chandrayan.

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