July 29, 2015
With an urge to feed orphaned and abandoned, two students of PSG College of Arts and Science (PSGCAS) started ‘Bhojanam’. Though V. Dinesh and R. Karthik started the scheme when they were pursuing their post-graduation, gradually other students too joined the initiative.
R. Karthik, the founder and managing trustee of ‘Bhojanam’, now working in Bengaluru told Covai Post that they were inspired by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s ‘Annadanam’ scheme to feed inmates sheltered in orphanges and old age homes.
“We were much perturbed to see old people left uncared for on the road side. No one cared to lend a helping hand to those hapless people languishing on the streets,” he said. With a resolve to feed them, he and Dinesh joined hands with Eera Nenjam managing trustee P. Mahendiran, to offer food to them at homes and shelters.
“We started ‘Bhojanam’ in 2013 and made it a point to visit orphanages during weekends wherein we used to spend the whole day with them even after feeding them,” he said adding that they derived immense pleasure in bringing smiles on the face of inmates. Inmates, mostly children were happy spending time with members of Bhojanam Trust. Not just feeding, the members also conducted competitions and games for the inmates.
Initially, the Trust had 14 members. To take it forward, they developed a website to rope in more students of PSGCAS. Karthik pointed out that there has been a tremendous response from both past and present students of PSGCAS, who have volunteered to be part of the Bhojanam initiative.
Every month, the members of Bhojanam Trust identify an old age home or orphanage located in the city and visits them on a weekend to give them food.
It is said that the logo for Bhojanam was developed by one of their friend’s Mohamed Salman. Karthick said that they are posting the status about Bhojanam service initiatives on the social website Facebook, which had a long reach in bringing together past students of PSGCAS, who are working in different fields in India and abroad.
The team is planning to go big and make it a weekly affair instead of a monthly one through generous contributions from philanthropists and likeminded people. According to Dinesh, they have a vision to feed as many people as possible and have decided to keep the work going.
Bhojanam Trust is also taking steps to get financial assistance from both the centre and the state as providing food is a mega exercise that involved much money.