“If you want to eliminate hunger, everybody has to be involved.” – Bono
When we talk about hunger, everyone has had a taste of it. No matter rich or poor, a person needs to fulfill his/her hunger. Try once not to eat for a day or two, you might feel weak. Now, think about those who don’t get food for days and struggle everyday in their lives to afford at least one meal in one whole day. People who suffer everyday in their lives are not alone in this battle. There are many who have stepped up to lighten their burden and support them by their contribution in helping them to survive in the society.
Here are 5 inspiring stories of individuals who took the much needed leap of faith and started an initiative to help the otherwise neglected section of the society:
1. Roti Bank
Starting with the initiative step to donate books to underprivileged children, Rishikesh Narayan Singh, a postgraduate (sociology) from Patna University thought to take another step and start the campaign ‘Roti Bank’ to ensure that underprivileged people in the state capital, Patna, do not sleep hungry. Rishikesh runs a community school, Gyanshala, for underprivileged kids. The initiative is to collect fresh meal from the households and deliver it to those who cannot afford to buy food. Their target is to feed 100 people everyday. A team of volunteers associated with the Roti Bank puts on lots of effort to achieve their target. The members check freshness and quality of the food and deliver it to the target locations. ‘Roti Bank’ provides healthy and fresh meals to the people residing on footpath, outside the railway station, temples and hospitals.
2. FEED (Food, Education & Economic Development)
Founder of Food, Education & Economic Development (FEED), Chandra Sekhar Kundu, a Computer Science Teacher at Asansol Engineering College in West Bengal, took a step towards controlling of food wastage. He and his team of students visit eateries around the campus regularly to collect food and then distribute it among underprivileged children and elderly, four times a week. The eateries giveaway excess food, which they would have otherwise dumped. The food is mostly distributed to beggars and street dwellers. He thought to do this when he observed that a huge amount of food was being wasted in his college canteen while he was paying his bill for his meal. He then started taking interest and took a step along with some of his students.
3. Let’s Feed Bengaluru (LFB)
We try to avoid eye contact with underprivileged ones, ignoring at our best. However, one of us, Harshil Mittal, a software developer in Bengaluru, refused to do so. He came up with the most effective idea to push away hunger for such people in our society, cooking a little extra food in every home. Underprivileged children and elderly citizens are thankful to him and wait every third Sunday of the month to satisfy themselves with homemade food to eat. Harshil started his initiative in October 2015, with three of his friends, Rishiom, Selina, Ashutosh. Initially, he went door to door in his housing society, told residents about the concept and asked them whether they would be interested in participating. Today, the group goes by the name “Let’s Feed Bengaluru” (LFB) and boasts of an extensive network of donors and 750 registered volunteers.
Youngistaan Foundation was initiated by Arun Daniel Yellamaty in 2012 in Hyderabad which focuses on feeding the homeless on weekends. It has turned into a big foundation which now has almost 300 volunteers. Arun Daniel with his team started with visiting 6 orphanages and gave tuition to the children from class 1st to 12th. He gradually expanded his work and started feeding the underprivileged people on Saturdays and Sundays. He not just feeded the homeless but also provided them clothes, medical help, etc. The kind of transformation they have brought among the homeless people is beyond its imagination. From giving showers to haircuts to shave, people have observed total makeover among them. Their work has been an inspiration to all.
5. Make The World Wonderful
Meghana Dabbara, 19-year-old girl from Hyderabad, crafted a model. Through her model, she wanted to provide a residential schooling shelter for the underprivileged providing education about gender equality, secularism, and equality across caste, class, creed and colour. When she was 17, she thought to have her own organisation and began with her own ‘start up’, searched for a suitable team for her. She then connected with Khyathi from Hyderabad, Saumya Katuri from California, and Pranita Garimella from New York. As of now, she is continuing as per her model and taking up the responsibilities for underprivileged children which includes, food, accommodation, education and everything else.
The major cause is poverty due to which many of the underprivileged children face harsh conditions and end up being trapped for life. So, stop thinking whether to take a step or not, instead take a small step from your home itself. With each small step you take, you might make a big difference to someone else’s life.