Chennai: “Twenty20 Kizhakkambalam,” a charity outfit floated by the Kerala based Anna-Kitex Group opens India’s First ‘Bhakshya Suraksha Market’ (Food Security Market) in Kizhakkambalam Panchayath near Kochi. Union Minister, Mr. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the new market complex for the public.
“Twenty20 is a unique model for our country and is a great contribution to the whole nation, where many people don’t have access to basic amenities”, said Gadkari in his inaugural address. The minister announced projects worth Rs. 42 Crores for the development of roads in and around Kizhakkambalam “With a permanent building in place, we have decided to add other essential household commodities at discounted prices in the market,” said Sabu M Jacob, Chief coordinator of Twenty 20 Kizhakkambalam and Managing Director of Kitex Garments Ltd.
The prices of vegetables, fruits, and other groceries keep fluctuating, more often witnessing a steep rise, making it extremely difficult even for the middle-class segments of society to budget expenses for everyday necessities. The people of Kizhakkambalam however, have never had to experience any dismal situations of a steep rise in prices. They have availed of all their food and nutrition requirements at less than half of the prevailing market prices. Since 2014, the prices, then fixed at 50% of the market price, have consistently remained the same. The market which has been working out of temporary sheds got a new modern 10000 sq feet building which has all the facilities of a modern supermarket.
During festive seasons, when the prices of vegetables, fruits and other groceries increase phenomenally, “Twenty20” provides all these essential necessities at a higher discount making celebrations joyful. Food Security Market also promotes farming in the village by procuring the produce directly from farmers at a fair price without involving any middlemen. This practice has benefited both, the farmers and the public.
The market also sources vegetables and other essential items from neighboring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Twenty20 has a quality control team to check the quality of the products before they are supplied to people. Around 65,000 people in the Kizhakkambalam panchayat depend on this food security market for their daily needs.
Nutrition rich foods are provided free by the organization to 500 pregnant women and feeding mothers and to 1500 children below the age of 6. 300 extremely poor families and 1500 families who gave their land for the development of roads received every thing free from the market. The market also provides employment opportunities to the local people. Twenty20 Kizhakkambalam aims to transform Kizhakkambalam panchayath into a model panchayath in the country by the year 2020.
Sri Alphonse Kannanthanam, Union Minister of States, presided over the function. Sri Kummanam Rajashekharan, BJP State President, HG Joseph Mor Gregorious Metropolitan, HG Abraham Mor Severios and AN Radha Krishnan, BJP State President graced the occasion.