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Saanjhi Chowki: Aussie Hindu community organising free food campaign during tough COVID times.

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

Reported by NRI Herald Australia, 11 August 2021

NRI Herald is reporting a noble task of community services during the testing times of COVID-19 being taken up by the NRIs hailing from Hindu community of Sydney to serve free food going by the name of "Saanjhi Chowki".

Name “Saanjhi Chowki” is combination of “Saanjhi” which means shared or common and “Chowki” which is derived from “Mata Ki Chowki”, Mata Ki Chowki is a spiritual program that can be kept at any time or performed on any happy occasions such as Birthdays, Marriages, anniversaries or during "Ganapati (God Ganesha’s annual fest)" and "Navaratri (Nine divine days in Hindu religion dedicated to Goddess)" festivals during the year, it includes bhajans and kirtans in the praise of "Maa Durga (Mother Goddess)" who is considered as a divine mother for Hindus worldwide.

NRI herald contacted Daksh Trivedi (one of the organisers of this noble campaign) and he said:

“I remember during our childhood, it used to be so much fun when our parents would do Mata ki Chowki or bhajan, kirtan at every possible auspicious occasion and it was fun because we would get to meet every kid in extended family and friend circle and enjoy the meals (prasad/langar) together. And as we grew up, we realised and understood the importance of spending few hours a day / week / month in almighty’s presence and seek blessings for welfare of family, friends and the whole world”

As with many others like Daksh, moving to Australia from India was a big change, a welcome step and leap of faith we all took to make a good in life for ourselves and our loved ones, and with God’s grace things worked out well.

On asking about his inspiration about starting this campaign, Daksh further told NRI Herald that:

“The idea of “Saanjhi Chowki” originated one evening when few close friends were sitting and enjoying a cup of tea on a lazy Saturday afternoon 5 years ago. We were doing “Mata Ki Chowki” at an individual level in past years and thought maybe it’s time that we take this out in community. We considered this as an opportunity to give something back to the community along with bringing cultural awareness. The same community which has always helped us get through the toughest of situations and with God’s grace and blessings “Saanjhi Chowki” was formed. As part of the “Mata Ki Chowki” we served free food and fed between 250-350 people on the day. Initially, it was few friends who got together but today we are fortunate to have 15-20 active members in association.”

Since the COVID-19 hit, things changed and the Saanjhi Chowki team couldn’t conduct their annual event and after seeing people struggling the idea of free food drive came up. They decided to run the drive in a safer manner and complying to the Covid-19 restriction by running it through different restaurants. This way, they could help the small businesses by providing business as well as individuals in need by offering food.

Saanjhi Chowki team is planning to run similar drives across Campsie and Blacktown from next week

Freed Food Drive location and Details:

People in need can pick up freshly made hot meal from below 3 locations:

  1. "Ginger Indian Restaurant" :- 94 Wigram Street, Harris Park, NSW from 10th August till 15th Aug 2021 between 12-3pm or 5-10pm, P: (02) 9635 9680.

  2. "Tandoori Chops Indian" :- 16/5 Mackinder St, Campsie NSW from 13 Aug to 16th Aug 2021 between 12PM to 9PM, P: (02) 9718 0731.

  3. "Mithai Junction" :- 5/143 Stephen St. Blacktown NSW from 13th Aug to 17th Aug between 12PM to 9PM, P: 0447 479 093.

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NRI Herald gives its best wishes to entire "Saanjhi Chowki" team (Rakhi Satija, Yatinder Baghla, Vikram Maghu, Valay Shah, Amit Narang & Atul Narang) and would like to request all Sydneysiders to spread the word.

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