Interior designer and baker Neeta Jessani and her mother prepare around ten additional meals every day at their Chennai home. They send packed nutritious food to Covid patients and their families. She helps those in home isolation and under quarantine, as well as patients in hospitals and their attendants. Ms Jessani sends the food in restaurant-like take-away plates three times a day. She even sticks a handwritten 'Get well soon' message to the patients.
Even the intense total lockdown in the city could not stop them. Amid the deadly second wave alone the baker has sent food to more than 400 people.
"The illness itself is very expensive and people are exhausting their resources on their treatment. At this point they need nutritious meals and food is one good area to provide help, we should all help in whatever little way we can, and it will make a difference in someone's life," Ms Jessani told NDTV.
In another part of Chennai, Nita's sister Divya Keswani's family too reaches out to those with similar needs. Her entire in-laws' family has just recovered after contracting the virus. While they were lucky to have received help from friends and families, they are now cheerfully paying it back to strangers who may suffer without help. The banker's family also customises their food making special cookies or snacks for children or the elderly among the recipients.
Divya says that the sisters, who many refer to as 'Chennai's Food Angels', have had some heartbreaking moments too. Neeta said, "There have been times when people who needed food suddenly cancel it saying the patient passed away. We feel so sad for them." Divya added, " I think the monetary expenses we incur gets nullified by the joy we get."
The pandemic has made individuals more generous and helpful than ever before. Amid reports of families abandoning Covid patients, the work done by these 'food angels' is certainly an inspiration and worth replicating.