A major share of Feeding India’s success today goes to undeterred passion and contribution of Hunger Hero Srishti Jain. Besides starting the organisation along with Ankit Kawatra in 2014, Srishti is the Chief Marketing Officer and manages the corporate communications and partnerships for the organisation.
Q1) What was your reaction when Ankit first shared his idea of starting FI? Weren’t you unsure/doubtful/uncertain about the practical implementation of his idea?
Ankit and I worked in the same team in the same company. He was always the kind of person who doesn’t stick to the ordinary and is always inquisitive. At our company also, he was known for his out of the box thinking, optimism and knowledge sharing. I absolutely loved the concept of Feeding India from the moment Ankit shared it with me. He mentioned that it’s his passion to help people by simple providing them with something so basic such as food. As a person even I like to work on multiple things, so I appreciated his idea as an ‘additional activity’ he was pursuing outside of office. Honestly I was a bit shocked when he told me he plans to quit his job to work for it Full-time. After the shock sinked in, I realized that something like this was expected from an individual such as him. He doesn’t only live for himself, but everyday works super-hard to make the world a better place.
Q2) How did your family react when you decided to support the idea, which initially seemed to be a ‘risk’?
My family was more than happy to see me working for Feeding India. It is clearly evident as half of my immediate family and cousins are associated with Feeding India somehow. They did get a bit worried when I started spending all my free time, and I mean ALL my time after office hours and in office as well working for Feeding India.
Q3) Being a girl, you have been going for pick-ups and donations at and after midnight, you’ve put all your days and nights and weekends into FI. How has it changed your life personally and professionally?
The the kind of person I am, If I’m passionate about something, I keep working for it non-stop and work doesn’t seem like work then. I get more and more dedicated once I see results pouring in and there’s no stopping me then. Same thing happened with Feeding India, after seeing the love and response of everyone in Feeding India and outside, I was motivated to work hard . How it changed: Personally: Good people work for others and in Feeding India I met hundreds of such people. I am friends with most of them and it has made me a better person. Professionally: I work with Ankit and the core team very closely. I have learned so many new things which seemed very difficult to do a few years back. I am part of a huge network of change-makers and it makes me feel very empowered.
Q4) What has been your proudest moment at FI?
Of course seeing people smiling and happy because of something that you do is an enriching experience, but I’ll be a little selfish here. What makes me most proud is the fact that I very closely helped build this organization from scratch. It is because of the hard-work put in by so many individuals such as myself that someone in some corner of India is having his/her first meal of the day. It makes me not only proud but gives a sense of accomplishment. Also keeps me motivated to do more.
Q5) What is the biggest challenge that you’ve faced till now?
The biggest challenge would be managing the organization financially. We all have been relying on personal funds to run the organization and to create a self-sustainable model is really difficult.
Q6) Which moment made you realize that your decision of joining Feeding India was one of your best decisions?
When I saw my personal and professional development over the years.
Q7) Since this is the first time you’re doing this, who do you look up to as an inspiration?
There are many times I feel that things are not working the way they are supposed to or we are lagging behind. The sole motivation for still working very hard would be when you see positive people around you. Ankit as a person has been my inspiration to work for Feeding India. No matter how difficult a situation is, he always keeps us going and is truly an inspiration and motivation for me to keep working.
Q8) What are your dreams for Feeding India?
I dream for a future where there will be a hunger-hero in each house in the country and no one would know what it feels like to sleep hungry.