Summer is at its merciless best, scalding to say the least, but it has also brought out the milk of human kindness. Organisations and good Samaritans across the city have set up water sheds (thaneer pandals) to assuage the thirst of wayfarers. Across the city, the Sathya Sai Seva Samiti has set up booths dispensing buttermilk and drinking water, free of charge.
The scene is the Agatheeswarar temple in Valsaravakkam. In a booth set up near the temple, children, manual labourers and autorickshaw drivers quench their thirst by taking swigs of buttermilk and water.
"We started this service (from 9 a. m. to 4 p.m) on May 1. It would continue till the end of this month," says Dr. Surya Prakasha Rao, convenor of the Valsaravakkam branch of the organisation.
"Devotees bring curd, we make the buttermilk," he says. "Lorry and bus drivers stop to have butter milk and water. And people who walk by also help themselves to the coolants on offer."
Satish, an artist, has set up a thaneer pandal on Vembuli Amman Koil Street in West K.K. Nagar where he resides. "I am a member of the Tamil Nadu Artists Association, which urges its members to undertake philanthropic activities. Each member can decide the manner in which he would serve society. I decided to set up a thaneer pandal. The women at home replenish the pots from time to time," says Satish.
Then there are people who have placed pots with drinking water outside the houses.
Act of kindness: Striving to serve the community in more ways than one is Unwind Center in the city. The centre's summer service to people is `Mor Masala' where volunteers from the Unwind Center got together and distributed butter milk around the city to traffic policemen, road workers, construction workers, and many more who worked in the scorching sun. The Center distributes 1000 litres of buttermilk every year. Teams of volunteers on Saturday split into groups and went about distributing the cool and hygienic preparation to deserving people in the city.
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