Kerala’s Pothichoru Scheme: How Locals Of The State Come Together To Tackle Hunger & Poverty

Kerala's Pothichoru Scheme
by Tooba Shaikh

In India, food in hospitals is not free. The cost is added to your final bill which increases the total amount you have to pay. People who cannot afford to pay are left with no choice but to skip meals. The people of Kerala have come up with an elegant and graceful solution to the issue. It is known as Kerala’s Pothichoru Scheme and it is a graceful and efficient of effectively tackling hunger and poverty in the state.

The Elegance Of Kerala’s Pothichoru Scheme

Kerala's Pothichoru Scheme

Image Credits: Canva Images (Representational)

In an article recently published by The Guardian, Kerala’s unique food parcel scheme is revealed as a boon for the needy. The scheme is undertaken by the volunteers of the Democratic Youth Federation of India or the DYFI who ensure the smooth running of the scheme.

Under this scheme, households, when preparing food for the day, make a little extra which is then packed in newspaper parcels or pothichoru and sent to local hospitals. The food is freely distributed among the people who cannot afford to buy hospital food.

Most noteworthy is that it is distributed without regard to caste, religion, and other divisive categories. In such a way, close to 40,000 patients are fed at no extra cost from government or private organisations. The volunteers are tasked with picking up the food packets and delivering them to the hospitals.

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Scheme Propagates Ethos Of Equality & Community

Kerala's Pothichoru Scheme

Image Credits: Canva Images (Representational)

The scheme began in 2017 with 300 parcels. Today, it is spread throughout the state. The volunteers ask families to make just one or two extra meals in addition to what they make for themselves. Even then, many families make five or six meals a day. Some even go up to 10.

This scheme has managed to promote an ethos of equality and community where donors give meals without knowing the caste or religion of the persons who will eat them. Similarly, the recipients are always grateful for the meal they receive and accept it with gratitude without asking questions about the background of the home that it was cooked in.

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Do you think this marvellous scheme can be implemented in the rest of the country as well? Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Image Credits: Canva Images (Representational)