There is no greater pain than that of being abandoned by your loved ones. Unfortunately, this sad reality is mirrored in the hundreds and thousands of old-age homes located in different parts of the country. At a point when the elderly struggle with their health and social estrangement, the burden of abandonment is far too much to bear, unfair in totality. Often, in our own daily struggles we forget to spare a thought for senior citizens living this truth. Dr. Uday Modi of Bhayandar, Mumbai chose to do something about it. He wakes up every morning, determined to feed close to 500 helpless, senior citizens who are unable to put together a decent meal for themselves due to numerous reasons.
It all started when Dr. Uday Modi moved to Mumbai from a little village called Amreli near Rajkot, Gujarat. He started practicing alternative medicine in the city of dreams. An incident that happened close to a decade back, changed him forever. "One of my patients was an old fellow, he must have been around 78. He showed up at my door, all helpless. He wife was chronically ill and couldn't do anything on her own. This couple was old, poor without even 10 rupees to buy a vada pao
. He said he needed food, it moved me and that is when I decided that I want to feed the needy elderly for nothing in return," shared Dr. Modi.
And so the tale of his free tiffin service began. Sharavan Tiffin Service has been named after a mythic Hindu character often assumed as the epitome of a righteous son. Dr. Modi's tiffin service started from his own house where his wife Kalpana used to prepare food and send it out to the needy elderly living in the Mira-Bhayanadar area. It started with 11 tiffins prepared in the Modi household; after a decade it has expanded to 200 tiffins prepared in two separate kitchens with two cooks in place. Dr. Uday ensures that food for diabetics is prepared in a separate kitchen. The tiffin service is incessant, relentless with an aim to send morsels of love to the elderly.
Tiffin usually contains 6 chappatis
and a curry along with dal
and rice. Sundays are special; therefore home-made dessert
type of savoury snack) also join the tiffin. "We have two tempo and 4 dealer vans that help in transporting these tiffins all around the locality. We get calls on a daily basis, but unfortunately we are not able to accommodate more people as of now. I work as an artist in serials and TV shows, my additional income along with help and support from family and friends suffices. However, I am on a constant lookout for ways to help more and more people every day," noted Dr. Modi.
Feeding 500 people, that too from your own pocket, doesn't come easy. Dr. Modi has a family of his own, a college going daughter, a son who is studying computer science and a supportive wife whom he calls his inspiration and courage. Close to 3 lakh rupees is spent every month in order to ensure regular food supply to these abandoned elderly. Despite all challenges and pitfalls, Dr. Modi and his family is undeterred and more than committed toward their unconditional seva
to the aged. "My chest swells with pride when my kids come back and give me tiny bits of their savings to be put in for the seva
. Lots of people come forward and support, I am sure it will go on, and with the grace of god, we will be able to reach out to more and more helpless elderly," Dr. Modi shared.
In a city where people come to realise gigantic dreams, Dr. Modi has only one desire, "I want to build a Dikra nu ghar
for these old people - a home, like their own son's place where everything is taken care of, not only food, buy everything else.
Dr. Uday Modi and his family's efforts are commendable, an inspiration for many others. Dr. Uday can easily be contacted on his official Facebook page for any correspondence.Images via Sharavan Tiffin Seva/FacebookFor the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.