An angel's delivery service for senior citizens

Radhika Wagaskar: a lifeline for senior citizens in Pune especially during lockdown
An angel's delivery service for senior citizens
Radhika delivering food parcels during the lockdownVanita Wagaskar

November 2019. Young and dynamic Radhika was beaming with joy. She had successfully cleared her CA foundation exams in the first attempt and was riding high on morale aiming to realize her dreams in life. She even started assisting in managing accounts for her family business of Venky’s food trucks.

December 2019. Mrs Manpreet Kaur, aged 75 was facing the worst-ever medical condition in her life. The widow of an army major and now living by herself, Manpreetji lived a balanced and healthy life gracefully. But a recent medical condition forced her to curtail her activities. Her son flew down from USA and was by her side taking care of her for the next 2 months till Manpreetji recovered. Along with medical assistance, Manpreetji's diet of non-veg food helped her get back to good health. Her son flew back just in time before the deadly Covid-19 hit Indian shores in February 2020.

The next couple of months were smooth sailing for Manpreetji. The medical store and meat shops were nearby and were now known to her and vice versa. Regular supply of both was uninterrupted.

March 22, 2020. The sudden announcement of lockdown on 22nd March rendered everything haywire. In addition to the fear of Covid-19, buying meat and dry groceries became a very difficult affair. Manpreetji was supported and helped by her neighbors for some basic items like medicines, milk and vegetables, etc. But raw meat was still a commodity which, though necessary, was highly dangerous to procure.

The lockdown also put a sudden brake to Radhika’s ambitious plans of joining classes and courses for CA intermediate. However, she relied on self-study and utilized her free time constructively during the lockdown.

As lockdown was extended again in mid-April, Manpreetji’s health suffered due to lack of meat. Everyone was in despair due to the risks involved in procuring raw meat from shops. As destinies meet, Radhika and Manpreetji got connected through Manpreetji’s neighbor’s daughter who was a good friend of Radhika. During a phone call, she generally told the condition of the lady to Radhika. This disturbed Radhika to the core and she decided to help Manpreetji.

First thing, she briefed her parents and requested them to deliver Venky’s frozen chicken to Manpreetji’s doorsteps through an essential supply pass. Venky’s frozen chicken is thoroughly cleaned, processed, and hygienic and was the safest option during the Covid-19 situation. She planned and executed the delivery very professionally. Manpreetji was delighted by her service, dedication and zeal to help elders.

Delivery of more than just an essential item...
Delivery of more than just an essential item...Vanita Wagaskar

This was when an idea struck Radhika. It was her Eureka moment! She realized there must be hundreds of old citizens worried about the stoppage of supply of meat. She shuddered at the thought of what the senior citizens would be going through, and decided to work out a plan which would adhere strictly to the Covid-19 rules, maintain highest level of hygiene, and allow ease of doing business, especially for the elders.

An entrepreneur evolved from a young aspiring lady and she started online marketing, taking orders and started to undertake delivery herself on weekends. Her dedication paid off and hundreds of citizens were supplied with the best quality meat at their doorstep under distress conditions.

Being sensitive, humble and responsive to the elderly, transformed the young entrepreneur Radhika into a lifeline for many a senior citizen like Manpreetji.

The bright Venky's van - Radhika's delivery counter
The bright Venky's van - Radhika's delivery counter Vanita Wagaskar

Brinali Bhalerao is in the third year of her undergrad course, majoring in Psychology. She is an aspiring writer, and is fond of sports, music and movies.

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