As I sit in bed fervently biting my nails, watching the new Hunger Games trailer on my laptop, a Katniss battles for her life a few kilometers from my dwelling. And until I had joined Feeding India, I really doubt that I would have given the issue a grave brooding. We are adept at appreciating cinematic craft but have we become selfishly apathetic to real life problems? Has the cooling from the air conditioners and the warmth of the leftover pizzas numbed us to a point of indifference? Action is imperative. To wish them “May the odds be ever in your favour” is simply not enough.
Parks, metro stations, roads – everywhere you go it’s almost impossible to not come across impoverished people. The hunger issue is glaring at us from all four corners, all is that is required is for us to change our lens. There is a boy who works at a fast food joint near my place. He has an amazing aura of cheerfulness about him and has the entire menu learned by heart. Although he is deprived of schooling, his confidence is unchallengeable. I wonder how well he could have done – what all he could have accomplished had he been provided an education. Sometimes, he delivers food to my place when it’s raining outside. I don’t realize how much the surplus he earns as delivery cost means to him. “Thank you beta”, I say. “It’s ok didi”, he replies back in Hindi. I don’t know his name. But I know his suffering. Sometimes I order a meal for two and surprise him by handing him over half of it. He accepts it shyly, with his head bent and a wide grin marking half his face. It’s an unspoken friendship. Taking a bird’s eye view you realize that there are so many underprivileged kids like him who could benefit from these small acts of kindness. In Hunger Games, for example, Peeta gave Katniss a loaf of bread when she was starving. Later on, a remark made by her has stuck with me – “You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope .” There are countless people who depend on people like us, who can afford to contribute, even if it’s a meager sum to improve their lives. Unlike us, they don’t have the audacity to think beyond filling their bellies. The only instruction that they’ve gotten from life itself is “Here’s some advice. Stay alive.”
– Guntaas Chugh