“HUNGER KILLS MORE PEOPLE EVERY YEAR THAN AIDS, CANCER AND TUBERCULOSIS. INDIA HAS THE HIGHEST NO. OF UNDERNOURISHED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.”
Well, these are not mere headlines that scream at you. They actually make you sit up and take notice. Based on the findings of FEEDING INDIA, an NGO, after painstaking research, it all started when Ankit Kawatra was attending a big fat Indian wedding. Circumstances forcing him to stay back, he was appalled by the excess food being straight dumped into a bin. That night transformed his life and saw the birth of FEEDING INDIA.
Feeding India has a core team drawing its volunteers from diverse backgrounds. The volunteers call themselves HUNGER HEROES.They plan, source and organise the distribution of surplus food from weddings, restaurants and caterers. However, at no cost do they accept monetary contributions. To top it all the biggest hurdle challenging them is the preservation and transportation of excess food especially in a tropical country like India where food is susceptible to deterioration. Also cooked food has limited shelf life and must be preserved carefully. Eventually comes the practical challenge of mobilising the restaurants, households who are generally cold and unresponsive and the sheer small scale of volunteers.
However, it is to the credit of these Good Samaritans who have trudged beyond their baby steps, that a humble beginning in August 2014 with five volunteers, has propelled them to a network of more than 2500 volunteers in more than 32 cities and have served more than 2,000,000 meals till date. Their approach also has been holistic.
As pointed out by Hamid, a volunteer and his team comprising mostly students, they are not only stopping food from being wasted but by adopting a sustainable way of ending hunger, they are reducing inequality, improving health and nutrition.
Their motto really rings loud – THE LARGEST CELEBRATION OF FOOD GIVING. They organised a big event “BE A HUNGER HERO” which was an effort to raise awareness and take action in a world where 795 million people go hungry and 40./. of all food production annually is wasted. As Federico Garcia Lorca rightly said-
The day hunger disappears; the world will see the greatest spiritual explosion humanity has ever seen.’. Indeed, hunger is not an issue of charity, it is an issue of justice.