Citizen Connect - Milk of human kindness: A stall with a difference

For the last 14 years, a free buttermilk stall has been quenching the thirst of many in the city. The stall that will be set up on Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road near the Chromepet Bus Stand will operate between 10 am and 2.30 pm.
Raghavan
Raghavan

Chennai

The stall which will open on Wednesday, on the occasion of Akshaya Trithiya, will function for the next 40 days at the venue with the aim to help the public get through the summer.
Talking to DT Next, G Raghavan, managing trustee, Gayathri Trust, says that the launch this year coincides with the festival that considers it auspicious to distribute neer mor (buttermilk). He says, “We are also distributing curd rice to people, along with the buttermilk prepared with a concoction of ginger, green chillies, coriander and curry leaves.”
He explained that as much as 70 litres of milk will be used every day for the preparation of the buttermilk. It will be prepared at the SSM Residency in Perungulathur and will be transported to the venue in three large drums. As many as 20 people will be distributing the freshly prepared buttermilk at the venue.
Raghavan says that over years they have covered thousands of people and there are many who visit regularly. “We usually have people asking for another glass and they aren’t refused. We spend as much as Rs 1.75 lakh for this every year and almost Rs 4,000 per day to cover a huge section of people from travelers to residents.” 
The buttermilk donation is just one of the many programmes undertaken by the Trust. For more than three decades, Raghavan, a retired Central government employee and octogenarian has been cremating unclaimed bodies and performing their last rites, apart from annadhanams. “I have been guided to carry out these activities by Mahaswamigal himself. He said I should lend a shoulder to the deceased. Since 1983, I have been doing this to the best of my ability,” Raghavan said. 
Raghavan says that as with other ventures by the Trust, the buttermilk project too has been planned to meet the requirements of society. “We welcome people to volunteer for the distribution of the buttermilk. I have to specially thank Santhanam, who is carrying out the preparation in hygienic conditions at SSM Residency.”

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