Free Taj meal deal ends, BMC, hospitals scurry to feed doctors, nurses | Mumbai News


KEM staffers thank Tata Trust for the free meals

MUMBAI: As the last truck of Tata Trust delivering food pulled out of KEM Hospital on Tuesday, several healthcare workers expressed their gratitude by clapping. Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, a philanthropic arm of the Indian Hotels Company, has offered more than three lakh meals to the frontline healthcare workers at seven city Covid-19 hospitals since March 23.
As the agreement with the trust for providing meal boxes came to an end after two months, the BMC scurried to arrange meals for its medical staff in the coming days. Worried about BMC’s arrangements for their next meals, the resident doctors have also decided to chip in. While the hospitals are trying to get their canteens fully functional, representatives of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) are trying to reach out to NGOs and alternative sources.
Though the BMC never provided free meals for their resident doctors and nursing staff, after the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, tiffin services were disrupted. At hospitals, canteens and messes were shut after their staff tested positive. “Even as a few canteens were running with limited manpower for some time, many workers left after the special trains were started. Our food committee is trying to look for options like the Tata Trust,” said a resident doctor from Nair Hospital. The hospital will have to arrange round 1,400 meals for both lunch and dinner in the next two days. Mohan Joshi, dean of Nair Hospital, said that they are trying to get the canteens operational soon.
At Sion Hospital, the MARD has managed to get help from a gurudwara in Chembur. “While the finer details are yet to be worked out with the dean, they have agreed to provide lunch and dinner to resident doctors, who need around 1,000 meal boxes,” said a representative.
“We are grateful to the Taj Group for their selfless service. We did not have to worry about food during the two months of pandemic. Now we are trying to get in touch with NGOs for a similar service. The hospital administration is also making arrangements,” said a resident doctor. The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, which is a philanthropic arm of the Tata Group, has offered over 1.5 million meals in the country post the Covid-19 outbreak.

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