A matka is an Indian clay pot traditionally used to store and keep water cold

Delhi is thirsty. I am using matkas to provide drinking water to poor people. I have developed and set up more than 15 Matka stands all over my neighbourhood in South Delhi. The stands have a sign with my personal telephone number, so people can notify me when a matka is empty, and a bench when there’s space. The matkas need around 2000 litres a day in the summer months. The water is supplied by a school nearby and two kind souls. The rest I supplement from my own home. I maintain these stands daily with my van (see below).

Morning Meals

I make fresh masala omelettes with bread to people on their way to work. These include security guards, domestic staff, labourers, cyclists, local office workers and school children who I observed often go hungry to work. I offer this free for women and children and at a subsidised rate for others. In hot weather I add lassi to complete this meal.

Wholesale Goods

I sell backpacks, tiffins and other day to day items at wholesale price to those in need.

Cycle Pumps

Delhi roads are hard on cycles. I have placed around 100 cycle pumps in my neighbourhood to give poor people the flexibility to fill air 24/7. Some are stand alone units and some are part of the Matka Stands. I also distribute glow in the dark stickers for safety purposes and spare nozzles for their wheels.

Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

I distribute roughly 40-50 kilos of seasonal fruits and vegetables (eg. cucumber, watermelon, white radish) per week to labourers and the poor when I go to distribute water in my van. This exercises involves cutting, peeling and often adding spices to the items.

Cucumber Peeling - Matka Man - Alag Natarajan

My Van

All the activity mentioned above is carried out and maintained primarily through my van.

I have fitted this van with an 800 litre tank, a pump and a generator to run it. From the van I fill the matkas daily and maintain the stands. In the summer I do up to four rounds a day to ensure the matkas are always filled.

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