For the people battling hunger in this trying pandemic time, the Aaahar centres in the city are providing the succor to the needy who are finding it tough in arranging a square meal a day.

The civic authorities have made operational all the 12 Aahar outlets in Bhubaneswar since May 5. Special protocol is being followed in managing the outlets. With this protocol only takeaway packs are allowed and no one is allowed to eat inside the Aahar centres. Cooked meals, duly packed at the centers are being provided to the beneficiaries after 11 am.

Out of the 12 Aahar outlets of the city, five are in close proximity of major hospitals. However, while three of them remain open in evening hour and shutdown Saturdays, two Aahar centres near AIIMS Bhubaneswar do not provide service in evening hour and shutdown Saturdays, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said.

“During the lockdown and weekend shutdown, I am able to get takeaway food from Aahar centres. These centres are of great help to poor people in this crisis time”, said Alok Kumar Das (22) an employee of a private security agency.

Aahar, a popular scheme by the Naveen Patnaik government, was launched in the state on April 1, 2015 with an objective to provide cooked meal to the poor and needy people in urban areas. Since then, the noble scheme has turned out to be a success.