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Meet Ramu Dosapati, who started 'Rice ATM' to feed poor during COVID-19 pandemic

BusinessToday.In     December 23, 2020

Gruelling times of the coronavirus pandemic have truly brought the best out in some people. The story of Hyderabad's Ramu Dosapati comes as a shining testament to this. Ramu Dosapati, an HR executive in a corporate in Hyderabad has been running a 'Rice ATM'- a 365 day initiative aimed at feeding the poor and needy during the coronavirus lockdown.

Dosapati says a security guard brought 20 kg chicken with her meager salary of Rs 6,000 to feed migrants and needy during the lockdown. "Inspired by the security guard, I started this Rice ATM to help the needy who have no work and money due to this corona pandemic," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

He thought that he could discontinue the Rice ATM when the lockdown was lifted and special trains started running in June but the economic condition of migrants exacerbated due to lack of work due to the crisis.

Initially, he used to feed 150 migrant labourers with the help of his friends. Once the lockdown-related restrictions were lifted, Dosapati started distributing groceries to needy people- some days only 20 to 30 people come but the count sometimes reaches 150 to 200 people. They also note down the contact details of these labourers so they can "try to provide them with some work so that they can at least earn something."

Ramu and his friends have not only helped migrant labourers but also school teachers, pregnant women, senior citizens and also coronavirus-infected people. They provide 15 days' food kit to women (pregnant and single) and five days' kit to labourers.

Ramu told ANI, "Due to this corona pandemic, the school teachers faced a lot of problems as they were not being paid their salary by the school management. I even received calls from teachers seeking help. And so in the last month, we distributed monthly groceries to nearly about 750 teachers."

Edited with ANI inputs by Mehak Agarwal

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