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Narmadaben Patel is an 83-year-old lady from Vadodara who feeds around 300 people every day through Ram Bharose Annashray for a good cause.
What Is It?
Her journey began in the year 1900 when Narmadaben and her husband, Ramdas Bhagat started an initiative to provide food to people for free in the city of Vadodara. It was her husband who wanted to start this initiative, their inclination towards charity came from their devotion to their religion, hence, their project is also called ‘Ram Bharose’.
Narmadaben claims that they never had to beg for funds and she believes that God was on their side and has been blessing them. At an initial stage, she and her husband used to drive around in a scooter and deliver food. Slowly, more and more people came up to them and started recognizing their work, so they hired a rickshaw.
The organization grew tremendously where people around them saw the quality of work that they were doing. It got recognized by a lot of people and that’s when Narmadaben hired a van. In 2001, Narmadaben’s husband was hospitalized and was on a ventilator. The doctor said he might not have very long and wanted to take him off life support. Even on that day, Narmadaben didn’t let her work down, devoted she went and fed the poor people who were expecting to see her. After feeding the poor, she went back to the hospital and paid her last respects to her husband.
Narmadaben takes all the responsibility of cutting vegetables and cooking wholeheartedly and runs a one-woman show in her kitchen every day. The walls of her kitchen are adorned with photos of Gods. Not even once has she cut her finger, or even gotten burned and that’s because God’s watching over her as she claims.
On Sundays, she even prepares sheera to give to the mothers of newly born children and Sunday meals all have a sweet in them as Sundays are for special meals in every other family.
The walls and corners of her home from where she runs the charity are all decked with certificates from Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi and a national award for bravery.