Every day at 12 pm, Shamsukka alias O A Shamsuddin places a board in front of his small hotel, announcing that free meals will be provided to ten hungry individuals. For the past two years, Shamsukkante Chayakkada, located on Ashoka Road in Kochi, has been diligently serving free meals to ten people each day. This charitable initiative holds more than meets the eye.
Shamsukka is unaware of the actual source of funding for the free meal program. He receives the funds to cover the cost of these free meals from a friend who has chosen to keep the sponsor’s identity a secret.
This heartwarming endeavour began during the COVID-19 pandemic when Shamsukka’s friend approached him, saying an anonymous individual wanted to sponsor free meals for ten people daily. Shamsukka readily agreed and started displaying a sign in front of his small hotel after preparing the meals each day.
“People used to come, asking for food, and we wholeheartedly served them. We provide them with the same dishes offered to our regular customers,” Shamsukka told ‘Open Digest.’
While Shamsukka’s friend initially provided funds for the free meals, mentioning that the support would be available for only a few months during the pandemic, the assistance continued consistently until the present day. Shamsukka inquired why the anonymous sponsor hadn’t ceased the funding, and his friend explained that the sponsor derived immense satisfaction from the act of giving and wished to continue.
Shamsukka, 58, has been running his Shamsukkante Chayakkada since 1990 and it is a popular spot for college students, offering tasty and affordable food. Those in need of a free meal can simply walk into the hotel and request a meal without facing any questions or judgment.
Shamsukka and the anonymous sponsor exemplify that kindness knows no boundaries. Despite being a small establishment, this endeavour, supported by an invisible sponsor, radiates positivity and fills hungry stomachs.
(This article is written by journalism student Ashika Thanveer of St Albert’s College, Ernakulam as part of our Youth Skill Development Initiative organised in association with St Albert’s College and Global Educational Consultants)