Brothers Mohammed Abdul Salam and Sultan Abbas are students at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland
CHENNAI: When news of the coronavirus pandemic broke, Mohammed Abdul Salam, 21, and Sultan Abbas, 19, both students of Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, decided to get back home to their home in Chennai. The brothers managed to get on the last commercial flight to Chennai before the national lockdown began. Since then, the siblings have been helping daily wage workers in and around Thousand Lights.
“We wanted to do our best to help the needy even while sticking to the safety protocol recommended by the government,” says 21-year-old Salam. So, once their self-isolation period was over, with the help of their father, the brothers launched ‘Feed The Needy’. “We pooled in money to prepare meals for 1,000 people every day,” says Salam, adding that they had discussions with the Chennai corporation as well as NGOs before they started their initiative.
With the help of a caterer they knew, they have been providing tomato rice, vegetable rice, curd rice and nilavembu to the needy. They also approached family and friends and started a campaign on GoFundMe to raise funds for the initiative. “Since we are finding it difficult to prepare meals due to lack of funds, now we are providing ration kits comprising rice, pulses, oil, tea powder, and spices. We distribute them every two weeks,” says Salam, adding that they have distributed 2,000 ration kits in the last one week.