People Who Went ‘HUNGRY’ to ‘Indira Canteen’ had to Return Back ‘HUNGRY?’
Mangaluru: A day after five “Indira Canteens” were opened in Mangaluru and DK, it is learned that within an hour of the two Indira Canteens-one at Nehru Maidan, opposite Lady Goschen Hospital, and the other at Urwa Stores near MUDA Office ran out of breakfast food- and the people who went there “HUNGRY” to feed on Idli or Pongal had to return back “HUNGRY” since the Canteen ran out of food. How nice! Even after these Indira canteens were opened with an aim to make Karnataka “hunger free”, but here in Mangaluru people had to go back hungry- so how can we talk about “Hunger Free State” at the moment with these glitches?
At Rs 5 a plate for 3 pieces of idlis or Pongal (as per Wednesday’s menu)-they were like hot cakes at the Indira Canteens located at Urwa Stores and Near Lady Goschen Hospital.The canteen starts serving breakfast from 7.30 am till 10 am- but the quantity of 500 plates that they cook for breakfast ran out within an hour at both these locations and hungry folks had to go back without getting the food. Sonu, a mason/ labourer who had anxiously waited to savour the food at the Canteen had to go back since there was no food left at 9 am. Sonu and many others like him did miss out on the benefits of affordable food promised by chief minister Siddaramaiah. A day after they opened, Indira Canteens continue to be dogged by a number of logistical glitches – the shortage of food compounded by the well-to-do dropping in for the “food experience”.
Sonu speaking to Team Mangalorean said that some of his friends from Bengaluru had told him that the quality of food at the Indira Canteen was good and it was cheap too. “But I guess I was not lucky to try this food at the canteen. I’m struggling to make ends meet and need to eat in these canteens. Now I will have to spend few extra bucks at the restaurant for my breakfast”, said Sonu. With the regular quantity of 500 plates for a Canteen, situated near a busy bus stand, a fish market nearby, a large number of homeless people and beggars in that vicinity, having only 500 quantity is simply a joke. You need at least 1000 plus to cater to the needs of the poor people in that location. Also, a long wait in a queue to pick up tokens and another endless wait for the food to be served makes it difficult for labourers to spare that much time. On the second day after inauguration Team Mangalorean learned that many people left disappointed as the canteens invariably ran out of food.
A tempo driver who parks his vehicle nearby the canteen said, “I eat when I stop between trips. It may not always be possible to reach a canteen when they start serving meals. The food is good but those who come late miss out. Forget about breakfast, even lunch ran out within an hour of service, leaving many disappointed, though they had come during the mandated lunch hours. If they are here to help the low-class people, then they should have more quantity of food”. Rosy, a vegetable vendor nearby said, “Normally, I spend Rs 30 to 40 per meal, but now I spend only Rs 10. Even though the queue was long, I was lucky to get served in time before the food ran out.”
Even though the Canteens have a specific timing- breakfast from 7:30 am – 10:00 am; Lunch-12:30 pm – 3:00 pm; and Dinner: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, but no timing board has been put up at the canteen-for the fact, they could close anytime as soon as 500 numbers of orders are sold out? What the heck? Without knowing the timings of service, people were seen coming to the canteen even at 11:00 am. Some people don’t even get up till 9:00 am- and if these Canteens run out food by 9:00 am for breakfast what’s the use having such canteens to help the poor.
One of the employee at the Indira canteen at Urwa Store said that they had a queue so long that lunch items got over within an hour after serving-even employees from nearby Infosys joined in the queue for lunch. For a growing City like Mangaluru, where the population is increasing day by day, it is advisable that the present quantity of 500 should be increased twice or more, so that everyone coming to the Canteen is not disappointed to return back without being served-because of food getting over!