Did you know that Kudumbashree is one of the largest women-run community organization in the world? With the aim to empower women by eradicating poverty and giving them opportunities to grow, Kudumbashree has yet again become the shining light during these tough times. The hotel chain run by them, Janakeeya Hotels, has been able to feed around 70,000 people daily since the pandemic struck Kerala. The Janakeeya Hotels were set up as part of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s “Hunger-Free Kerala” project to combat hunger and improve the nutritional intake of the financially poor.
With the food industry incurring major losses and the prices of vegetables shooting through the roof, Janakeeya Hotels has managed to turn the tables around by charging only ₹20 per meal. The meal consists of a bowl of rice, accompanied by locally known dishes. Subsidized meals are served between 12.30 PM and 3 PM. Daily wage workers and BPL holders have benefited largely from this pricing owing to the constraint in expenditure these past few months. It has come as a huge relief as they now know that they won’t sleep hungry.
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In fact, around 700 hotel chains have opened across the state because of its high demand, despite the pandemic. They were able to deliver the food safely, even in containment zones, with an additional delivery cost of ₹5. People who lost their jobs or were earning a meagre income found this to be a blessing in disguise. Many people depend on Janakeeya Hotels to survive every day.
Not only is this initiative helping people afford quality food, but it also provides income to the ladies who work to make this initiative a success. According to NITI Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index 2019 report, Kerala was among the five states with the best Zero Hunger policy and its implementation.