COVID left a lot of people struggling to access meals. So Kerala resident Salam Kerala started cooking food for ten such people in his neighbourhood in Kanhangad.
The number slowly increased to 50 and Salam sought help from his friends to fund the meals. Three years since, the endeavour continues.
Registered as an official trust called Nanma Maram, or ‘the tree of goodness’, Salam and his friends have been providing food to almost 60 people every day.
Everyday at 1 pm, 50-60 people are given food packets at Kottachery Circle in Kanhangad, Kasargod.
The food costs Rs 1,200 daily. Chicken biryani, which is given once a week, costs Rs 3,500. The trust runs on voluntary donations and there hasn’t been a single day when they have not been able to provide food, says Salam.
“Initially, it was started as a WhatsApp group. We all would just contribute the amount. Slowly, more people joined, and today we have four WhatsApp groups, and more than 1,000 active supporters,” says Unnikrishnan Kinnanoor, secretary, Nanma Maram.
As the NGO grew, they started helping people set up small businesses, providing medicines, equipment for palliative care, and even mobile phones to students.
They also helped migrant workers and street dwellers get vaccinated.
They also set up small shops called petti kadas, which costs Rs 50000. They have set up five shops so far to help people have a steady income.
They also offer palliative care by giving beds, oxygen concentrators and water beds to those who can’t afford to go to hospitals.
“Nanma means doing good. We want to continue helping people in whatever way possible. We also hope more people start doing good, in whichever part of the world they might be, in whatever small way,” says Unnikrishnan.
To help Nanma Maram, you can contribute to nanmamaram@sib.