KOLKATA: He drives a toto and teaches kids at home to earn a living for his six-member family. Yet, para swimmer, Akal Chowdhury, has come forward to use his meagre income of Rs 6,000 per month and funds provided by Civilian Welfare Foundation, to run a community kitchen at Kaitha in Birbhum to support 50 families, especially those with disabilities, during this time of crisis. He cooks the food himself and is helped by his parents, wife and children for the initiative.
The daily menu that includes egg curry, dal and rice requires a budget of around Rs 1,000 for both lunch and dinner.
Fish or chicken is on menu once a week, depending on the budget. “These poor people cannot travel for work due to the restrictions for the pandemic, so I provide them with meals twice a day. It is a small way to help them get through this difficult phase,” said the 25-year-old, a Bengali Honours graduate from Netaji Open University, who has also done a BEd.
The national level swimmer, who has won 11 medals to his credit, has a right leg disability due to a wrongly administered dose of polio and has to use a crutch to move around. However, that has hardly posed a challenge for this champion.
“Both my sister and I were given the injection from the same vial. My sister too has a right leg disability but she manages to move without a crutch,” Chowdhury said.