by Sakshi Khaiwale
Nagpur-based Railway employee, Khushroo Poacha, epitomises selfless service.
Poacha runs Seva Kitchen, a crowd-sourced initiative that serves food to needy patients and their relatives free of cost in hospitals across the city. He has also installed Neki Ka Pitara (fridge of kindness) in the hospitals. A Neki Ka Pitara contains fruits, juices, biscuits, soya milk, and other nutritional products.
The idea to take up this initiative came to Poacha’s mind during a visit to a hospital in his hometown in 2014. As he observed poor patients and their relatives spending days on end without food, he was moved and decided to do something for them.
Following a discussion with his mother who gave him much-needed encouragement, Poacha, along with some of his friends, started distributing food packets in the hospital every Sunday. The journey of Seva Kitchen began from there.
Mr. Khushroo Poacha
Later, Poacha realised that though patients were getting food, they did not have access to essential nutrients. Subsequently, Neki Ka Pitara initiative came into existence in 2016.
Today, Seva Kitchen feeds patients in multiple cities and Neki Ka Pitara is available in 20 government and trust-run hospitals spread across Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Naya Raipur, Palwal and New Delhi.
Even the ongoing pandemic has done little to dampen this central railway employee and his team’s spirit. “The Pandemic did not affect the initiative. On the contrary, we have been working hard during this pandemic,” Poacha said.
“Our team distributed 14,000 grocery kits in Nagpur, Yevatmal, and Melghat. Neki Ka Pitaras were closed in some locations at the start of the pandemic but are now functioning very smoothly,” he added.
Neki Ka Pitaraa installed at Snehaanchal Palliative care and Hospice
Poacha believes in serving people without any conditions and rewards. “When god gives, he does not ask you to sign an MoU. So why should we humans want that? If you truly want to serve humanity, you don’t need any MoU,” he said.
He also believes that ‘good work can be done without money’.
In 2001, when he needed money to set up a website for blood donors, some corporate houses came forward to support him. However, they wanted him to agree to their terms and conditions which he refused.
“Once I refused them, one of the sponsors told me that I can’t do good work without money. I immediately replied to him that I will prove to you and the world that good work can be done without money,” he said.
He has stayed true to his words to date. His website — donatekart.com—receives donation for Seva Kitchen and Neki Ka Pitara, but all the money goes directly to his supplier from where he picks the required stuff.
To know more about Poacha’s initiatives, do visit https://www.sevakitchen.org/.
About the Author
Sakshi Khaiwale is a B.A. third-year student in Journalism and Mass Communication at Vishwakarma University, Pune, with journalism as a specialization. She was an intern at Marathi daily ‘Lokmat’. Now, a student representative at VU’s Centre of Communication for Development.