May 17, 2020

Community Kitchens in Bengal

From our correspondent

HUNDREDS of Left activists are showing exemplary motivation and are helping poor, stranded people in West Bengal. From the day one of lockdown, Left mass organisations have organised temporary food distribution centres. The success story of one has inspired others and numerous such centres have come up in the state. Without any help from the state government, these activists have run ‘community kitchens’ in many areas. They have been encouraged by neighbourhood and people are contributing in cash or kind.

In Titagarh in North 24 Parganas, one such community kitchen has run for 42 days. It was attacked by TMC miscreants who tried to stop its operation. Veteran CPI(M) leader and former MP Tarit Topdar was attacked, his car was ransacked while other Party leaders have been beaten up. But the determination triumphed and CPI(M) and CITU workers continued the kitchen for the poorest of the poor.
In many areas in Asansol-Durgapur industrial belt, the migrants and casual workers have lost their last penny. CPI(M) and CITU have stood beside them and supplied the minimum food necessity. In Siliguri, Left parties have organised food distribution in many areas apart from efforts by Left-led Siliguri Corporation.

In Jadavpur, community kitchen has become a symbol of solidarity as youths and students are taking lead in running it without missing a single day. In many parts of Kolkata, Left mass organisations and CITU are busy in distributing food and relief.

The Left activists stood beside the migrant workers from other states. Many of them were kept under care of the Red flag. When migrants of the neighbouring states began their journey by foot, Left organisations distributed food packets for them in the way. After the special trains started, Left activists and supporters also collected money to buy tickets for Rajdhani-type Howrah-Delhi trains for the workers.