People may go hungry for various reasons. It can be due to poverty, old age, disease, redundancy, bereavement or maybe, because of someone’s greed. Generally while scrapping off our dishes after a sumptuous meal, being too full to finish the remaining scraps on our plate, we rarely pause and think about the significance of our action. It seems like routine to throw the leftover food scraps in the garbage. Our habits, unfortunately, make it difficult for us to conceptualize the magnitude of poverty and global hunger.
How many times do we really expect the young people to come forward to fill an empty stomach? Generally we don’t, but then exceptions are always there. “You’re never too young to change the world”, it is said. To believe this, get a peep into the life of Mr. Anirudh from Ludhiana. He was all of twenty one years when he had this soul stirring thought of providing food to the needy.
He firmly believes that every person is born with a kind heart, but he does not know about the kindness that he can show others unless he gets a chance. His desire to help was fulfilled by “Feeding India’. He started making rounds to various city restaurants and parties where the food was just thrown away as a habit. He was assigned to collect this food and distribute it amongst the poor. While he had to give them this food he was sensitive enough not to hurt their self respect. Therefore he came up with an innovative plan. He would tell the kids that they shall have a talent round and then dinner. He was astonished to know that some of these kids were extremely good dancers and singers as well. After this they would distribute the food and the whole community would be extremely happy.
He faced many challenges. At times the restaurant would give food after an endless wait or the party would get over very late. He had to rush soon after to distribute the food before it got stale for human consumption, but Mr. Anirudh never complained. He was happy to be of some use to others. In fact he even motivated his other friends to join him too. Today he is not only one of the volunteers, but he is leading the whole team at Ludhiana. The restaurant managers and owners are coming forward to help as this act of benevolence has changed them for good. Now, at times they themselves call him to take away the leftovers.
He signs off by saying, This act gave me so much of satisfaction and inner peace that I want to continue it forever. The problem is bigger than we think. We are trying to give people a way out of the problems that led to their hunger in the first place. Social isolation is the biggest barrier to people seeking help from us, but we can only help those we see.
– By Mallika Chugh