Matkas

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).

Nutritious Salad

I prepare a nutritious salad to distribute to construction workers and labourers. As you can see from the pictures I have customised my van for this purpose. I go out twice/thrice a week and each time serve approximately 150 people across 5-6 construction sites. I offer the food to security guards and drivers along the way.

There are 20 ingredients in my salad. They are: rajma (kidney beans), black chana (chickpeas), moong dal (yellow split peas), double beans (haricot beans), sprouts, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, peanuts, potato, coriander, lemon juice, tamarind paste, chili powder, roasted cumin powder, kala namac (black salt), mustard seeds, curry leaves, whole dried red chilis.

 

Cucumber Peeling - Matka Man - Alag Natarajan

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.

My Van & My Truck

All the activity mentioned above is carried out and maintained primarily through two vehicles. I have always had a small van. Initially I used it for both my food and water distribution, however in September 2021 using my pension, my life savings and donations from well-wishers, I purchased a Mahindra Bolero maxi-truck. With this I can carry much more water at a time; it is fitted with two 1000-litre water tanks. Now I use my smaller van just for the food distribution.

I have engineered both my vans as a spectacle. I want to draw attention to my project and I enjoy the artistry of the work. You will find videos and pictures of my vehicles below.