Every morning near Mumbai’s Kalyan railway station is a heartwarming sight, where hundreds line up every day to eat breakfast for Re 1 and lunch for Rs 10. This unique kitchen is run by around 5,000 members of the trans community, who are part of the NGO Khwahish Foundation.
At the helm is Poonam amma, the trans woman who started the organisation, to “help society in some way and give back”.
Poonam began the initiative last month and has a kitchen run by 16 staff members.
“Hunger is such a crisis today. We see this even during the time we beg. This hurt us deeply. We wanted to find a way to help these people in whatever way we could. And so I met with others from the trans community and put this idea forward,” she says.
The queue begins as early as 7 am, and lasts till about 5 pm. To meet the expenses of the food, around 300 trans persons provide a daily contribution of Rs 200. The rest is covered by donations, but only in the form of ration.
The kitchen was inaugurated by Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar.
Sameer Sheikh, secretary of the foundation, says, “Society often looks at the trans community with judgement, believing they can only ‘take things’ (like money) and never give anything in return. This is their way of giving back.”
As of now, the kitchen serves over 700-800 people every day.
Watch what went behind setting up this heartfelt endeavour, and how the poor, hungry, and ill have all found a safe space here:
Edited by Divya Sethu
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