The families of patients who have been admitted to a hospital suffer from constant tension. On the one hand, they are worried about the ill-health of their loved ones, and on the other, there are mounting medical expenses to deal with.
To add to their stress, people who do not belong to the region where their loved ones are receiving treatment, have to also worry about where their next hot meal is coming from, and the problem worsens if they are in an expensive city like Mumbai.
A Mumbai-based couple noticed this and has made it their mission to provide comfort in the form of warm, home-cooked food, to the families of patients.
Vikrant and Shital Bhatkar run a food service called ‘Don Ghaas’ (two bites), situated near the Parel-based Tata Memorial Hospital. The specialist cancer treatment and research centre is one of the leading cancer centres in the world. Now, while the patients get treated, their relatives spend hours and even days, fending for themselves outside the hospital premises.
While the hospital has a cafeteria where the relatives of the patients can eat food, most of them prefer to head to roadside stalls, which are not necessarily hygienic and can cause health issues. Keeping this in mind, the Bhatkars charge a paltry sum of Rs 10 for lunch, and Rs 6 for dinner, per person, and the food is fresh and nutritious. People can dig into dal khichadi, chapati and subzi, coupled with bananas, for lunch, and chapati and subzi for dinner.
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As of now, Vikrant and Shital feed around 250 people, on a daily basis.
The Bhatkars did not have this brainwave out of the blue. It was the tragic loss of their 7-year-old son and the difficulties they faced as relatives of an admitted patient, that led them to come up with this concept. Putting their personal grief behind them, the couple decided to dedicate themselves to the service of those in need of it.
To facilitate the preparation of these meals, the couple has hired a place in Parel. The Bhatkars also help needy patients purchase medicines, if they are unable to do so on their own.
The concept of a readymade nutritious meals at a low price, is a much-needed boon and this couple surely deserves to be commended for their noble efforts!