Singapore: The Indian High Commission in Singapore has joined an Indian restaurant, apart from 1,000 Indian families here in packing food for deliveries to frontline workers and foreign nationals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed the lives of 21 people and left 24,671 infected in the country.
On Tuesday, India's High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf joined the Indian restaurant Mavalli Tiffin Rooms in packing food to help the frontline workers, who have been working day and night to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, The Straits Times reported.
Ashraf said he had heard of the restaurant's efforts and wanted to help out as a way of standing shoulder-to-shoulder and showing solidarity with the front-line healthcare workers.
Restaurant operations director Raghavendra Shastry, who is from Bengaluru, said his staff at the Indian vegetarian restaurant, within the Little Indian precinct have prepared packets of fruits and sent them to the hospitals.
Shastry said he realised after chatting with a surgeon friend that he could contribute on a larger scale by making hot snacks and drinks at the restaurant he runs to deliver to front-line healthcare workers.
This was in addition to the regular work at the restaurant, which is serving food takeaways and delivery services as outdoor eating is not allowed during the circuit breaker period to control the spread of the COVID-19.
"Dry snacks such as biscuits and sweets are readily available to the front-liners in hospitals. But the hot snacks and coffee we deliver can complement these snacks and help keep the medical fraternity going," the newspaper Shastry as saying.
The first set of goodies was sent to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on April 17. Deliveries are now being made twice a week to various hospitals across Singapore and will continue until at least June 1, the day circuit breaker is scheduled to end, the report said.
Meanwhile, the Sikh Gurdwaras (temples) have been serving two meals daily for students here from India since April 1. We are serving food (langar) to all Indian students regardless of race, religion and caste, said Harbhajan Singh Goshal, Vice Chairman of a Silat Road Sikh Gurdwara under the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board (CSGB).
The meals are for students, who have lost earnings from their part-time work here to finance their studies, as well as for senior citizens and people in need, said Goshal.
On an average, 1,450 meals are being served, said Goshal, a long-term sevadar at Singapore Gurdwaras. Elsewhere, Singapore billionaire Peter Lim has joined the community with a 1 million Singapore dollars worth of meals for hospital staff in a show of appreciation and support for their work on handling the COVID-19 cases.
Lim is picking up the food voucher bill for 20,000 workers at the hospital. Also, over 1,000 Indian families, both from local and expat communities, are cooking and packing food three times a week for the students and foreign workers through the gurdwaras as part of their contribution to support those in need of meals during the coronavirus challenging times, according to Shweta Verma, a business executive.
The contribution of cooked family meals goes a long way for those facing difficulties, she said.