Jeety’s COVID-19 Feeding Initiative Reaches 95K Mark

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Mr. Jeety (blue shirt) distributes meals to community members

Indian Honorary Consul General to Liberia, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, commonly known in Liberia as Mr. Jeety, Community Feeding initiative has now reached the 95,000 mark since it was launched 35 days ago. He began the community feeding or “stay home feeding” following the declaration of the State of Emergency and curfew by President George Manneh Weah. Curfew hours which initially ran from 3.pm. to 6.am, but has since been readjusted to commence from 9.pm to 6.am daily.

President Weah had declared the 60-day State of Emergency and curfew to stop the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

On last Sunday, the Daily Observer joined Mr. Jeety and his crew on an observation tour of the various feeding centers/points around Monrovia. They included Vai Town, where his main offices are located, Center Street in Central Monrovia, Coconut Plantation, Randall Street, Car Wash, Mamba Point, Broad & Johnson Street, Slipway, 24th Street and ‘Zimbabwe’ on the Bishop Michael K. Francis Road in Paynesville.

Mr. Jeety told the Daily Observer that he realized that, as a result of the imposition of a curfew, the shutdown of businesses, etc. as part of the COVID-19 restrictive measures, ordinary Liberians, especially those living on less than US$1 daily would have been hardest hit; accordingly, he decided to intervene by providing at no cost, cooked, ready to eat meals to targeted vulnerable groups including zogos (youth at risk), children and elderly people.

At feeding time, they are required to form orderly queues, observe social distancing measures and must be masked before they are served. Quite often, according to some beneficiaries, Mr. Jeety has distributed face masks to those without during feeding time. The masks are said to be customized and bears his business trademark.

The Indian Honorary Consul General told the Daily Observer that he began this feeding of vulnerable Liberians six years ago. At the time, according to him the feeding cycle was five times weekly and it was done from a single location — at his business center in Vai Town, Bushrod Island. But nowadays, he and his team, including the police, visit more than six different feeding locations daily.

Mr. Jeety, the prominent Indian businessman, has vowed to continue providing food to these Liberians, saying that he sees the aid as a relief to the vulnerable. This is why he increased the number of food distribution sites during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this commendable effort on his part, Mr. Jeety has shunned publicity and turned down a request for an interview, reiterating that he had previously told journalists that Liberia has become his second home and so providing food for “his people” is just a way of giving back and seeking God’s blessings.

Some of those who benefited from the Sunday feeding told Daily Observer that they wait for the arrival of the food just to get a plate of Jeety’s meal because they lack the means to afford themselves a decent meal.

Mercy Dean, one of the underprivileged youths, described Jeety’s food as “Manna from heaven,” to save the lives of those who cannot afford to provide a daily meal for themselves.

“Thank God for sending Jeety to Liberia because, since the outbreak of this Coronavirus, our daily hustle has been very difficult. Before three 3 p.m we have to leave the street and it isn’t possible that we get food to eat during the morning hours,” Mercy said.

She disclosed that during the distribution, special attention is paid to women and children by allotting a special line for them, adding: “We and the children are served first by Mr. Jeety before he begins to serve the men”.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Good riddance Hannah. By that I mean your reportage. Especially impressed with your choice of vocabulary, sentence structure and the cohesiveness of the story. Very much up to par with so many others on the continent, if I’m not being overly biased or Liberian. Thumbs up!

  2. After reading this affront, I know CDCians will ignorantly rejoice saying, “oh it’s because of Weah’s moral and contact the Indians are feeding hungry Liberians”, abomination! Is this a pro-poor government or “stealing poor”?

    If I were the president of Liberia and see such horror or obscenity, I would resign for leading a people with enormous mineral reserves, lush landscape, high rainforests and untapped marine resources queueing to beg for their daily bread.
    The war is oooooooooooover, my people. Why should our people continue to stand in line to beg for bread?
    If Liberia was founded on Christian principles, which I cherish, be reminded that blessed is thy hand that giveth.

    Your Honorary Consul General, please tell your compatriots running businesses in Liberia to put an END TO TAX EVASION to enable our government to provide decent jobs for Liberians. We want to feed ourselves. Stop your hypocrisy! Pay taxes to the Liberian government correctly! Why do you pay only 0.017% tax to government? Is it what is done in India? Stop making mockery of us just because we voted stupid people into our rulership.

    Let’s pray
    Lord, we pray for innocence for children in poverty. We pray that every child would have the opportunity to wonder, to learn, to grow and to play. What joy it brings to your heart to see the innocence of a child. Our hearts yearn for it for them.

    May God forgive Liberia for all the sins our great grandparents, parents and present generation have committed against you God Almighty, Amen!

    • Petarus, Petarus, Petarus! Obviously it seems you are blessed with vision but yet, you have no sight. You not only fault the Indian Community for “giving back” to the communities that patronize their business, but insult them as well for that generosity? What if you were reminded the action of the Jeety Corporation is no different from that of the IMF/World Bank and other donor agencies/countries that often give Liberia and other poor countries money all the time for survival, will you use similar unsavory terminologies to impugn their assistances? Also, what if you were informed of the fact that Jeety Corporation pays it fair share of taxes to government, will you apologize to them for the unwarranted castigation or vilification? We agree, the optics in seeing Liberians in queues for food handout is disheartening, but please old man, even in the great USA, people are seen in queues everyday at soup kitchens in every major city for food. So get with the program sir. Thank you.

  3. Peter,

    First, I am not in the USA.
    Second, when some of us frontally attack a corporation like Jeety Trading Corporation, we are not doing it out of infantile passion and ignorance but from genuine information.

    Stop being fooled by such abominable act. This is a pure scene of mockery or exemplification of how foolish and stupid we are.
    Jeety Trading Corporation is the biggest and maybe the monopoly company of building materials for Sierra Leone and Liberia. Why will they pay more tax in Sierra Leone than in Liberia? Do you know?

    If they really want to give back to the society that made them, why would they invite the Daily Observer? They should do it without publicity; taking our children’s photos to hypocritically exhibit them in their homes and offices for their children to laugh at us (stupid beggars and hungry people).

    If you work with them or close to anyone from the corporation. Tell them to stop this obscene publicity and mockery.
    Let them pay taxes fairly to the Liberian government to cater to its people!

  4. Petarus, perhaps a rephrase of the essence or kernel of my previous post will do the trick. Thus, three points were emphasized in that post. 1) That a queue for food handout could be likened to donors’ handout, only that one recipient is often in coat and tie, and the other in slippers and ragged attire. 2) That, as unsightly and demeaning as Liberians lining up for food handout may seem, the reality is not unique. It is the same the world over, including even our chief paragon of everything worth emulating, a la the USA. 3) That even if Jeety Corporation were paying its fair share of taxation, how is it responsible at the same time for the plight of the people in the queue for food? Conversely, why fault Jeety Corporation for any assumed tax evasion rather than those accessing, collecting and monitoring the tax schedule? That’s called barking on the wrong tree, in my sphere of the world. Lastly, whatever the apprehension or beef, Jeety Corporation may simply be a symptom and not the crux of our problem. Root cause comes to mind in that regard. The last of anymore free tutorial on this subject, by the way. Thank you.

  5. To the many good friends that I have made here

    I just want to take this time again to thank each and everyone of you who reached out to me and my family in our time of bereavement.

    You have thever Moses undying gratitude. I’m still in Bomi County with the mom and grandparents. It is a sad thing for a parent to bury a child and they are still in shock. Hence my being there with them yet.

    Hopefully, I will return here first week in July.

    Thank you again.

    Peace

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