On Thursday night (12th November), the seventh edition of The Kitchen CAN event took place at 6:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza, Kochi. Aside from an interesting mix of speakers from big business and startups belonging to diverse fields, there was another twist to this event: the grand finale was the launch of the video of ‘Thanks Bhai’, a community campaign by the people of Kochi.
A large number of migrant workers (fondly-referred to as ‘bhais’) have been actively involved in the construction of the Kochi Metro. ‘Thanks Bhai’ began as a community project which aims to express the citizens’ gratitude to Kochi’s often unacknowledged ‘bhais’ for their hard work. Supported by Asten Realtors and powered by Autotree, ‘Thanks Bhai’ is a crowd-funded campaign to raise money for sweets, and to collect personalized messages of gratitude from the citizens for the workers for Diwali.
The campaign began at the Kaloor Metro yard. The event, which started at 9:30, was inaugurated by Shri. Hibi Eden, MLA. Sweets along with handwritten messages by the people to the workers were distributed. “Migrants of the city – the ‘bhais’, are among the most hardworking people, but are sadly, the least acknowledged section of Kerala’s population,” says Hibi Eden MLA. “Many of them leave their families behind and move to Kerala to work selflessly for projects like The Kochi Metro. This noble initiative which expresses gratitude to these unsung heroes is quite laudable.” The sweet distribution started from Kaloor metro yard and went to Kacheripady, M G Road, Elamkulam, Palarivattom, Muttom Depot, CUSAT, Kalamaserry and Aluva, and concluded at FACT casting yard. It covered a total of 3000 Metro workers at 16 stations.
‘Thanks Bhai’ has been initiated and led by ‘The Kitchen’ and ably supported by the Kochi Metro Rail and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. According to Siraj Mather, Managing Director of Asten Realtors, “This is a good initiative to acknowledge the hard work behind the city’s flagship project, and the people involved in it. We are happy to be a part of this initiative.”
Noufal Ahmed, CEO of Autotree, had this to say: “When the Kitchen team came to me with this concept I was literally in love with it and said yes, Autotree is going to be a part of this. We see the workers working so hard, 24/7, for our benefit, but unfortunately they can’t go home for this Diwali. So we just want to say: Don’t worry bhais, we are there with you. Happy Diwali.”