The latest buzz in the students of Nandha Engineering College, Erode, Tamil Nadu, is about ‘Lunch Santa’ — Rotaractors who provide lunch for poor and needy people in and around Erode. “We have been totally supported by the students of the department of mechanical and electrical communications in our endeavour to end hunger in our city,” says Selvakumar Ponnusamy, DRR, D 3202.
The idea of being a Lunch Santa or a food donor was born when President of the Rotaract Club of Nandha Engineering College, D 3202, Manikandan, decided to celebrate his birthday in a different way. “Why not bring an extra lunch box for the hungry people, he asked. The idea stuck and we decided to come up with a plan to feed the poor.”
Messages were sent out on social media and students willing to provide an extra lunch box volunteered for the cause. The only condition was they make a rice meal. “We were going to pack them in packages made from aluminum foil and gravy items would make a mess. So, we decided to keep it simple. They could make biryani or tomato rice or any rice dish of their choice,” says the DRR.
On the day of distribution, 200 food packages were collected and handed over to poor people at Thindal hills, Lovely Sisters Old Orphanage, the highway from Perundurai to Erode and the Silatupatti School for Handicapped Children.
Hundreds of people go to bed on an empty stomach each night in our country, the DRR says, adding, “this can be avoided if just a handful of us pledge to help them and with Rotaract, as a platform, we could run this project throughout the country.”