India, with its population of over 1.3 billion, has seen tremendous growth in the past two decades, with food grain production increasing almost two times in the last couple of years. And yet the “sufficient” food remains inaccessible to a large section of population in India. According to recent data, about 14.9% of our population is undernourished, which means 195.9 million people go hungry every day.
On this World Hunger Day, on 28 May, Sufiaana (an eatery owned by Cherish restaurant in Delhi) and Feeding India (an NGO) got together to bring smiles on the faces of the city’s underprivileged kids. Sufiaana’s joint campaign with Feeding India started a year ago and since then, every Tuesday they have been sending food to nearby shelter homes.
At Sufiaana, besides having tasty and healthy food, the kids got to participate in entertainment activities like magic show and dancing programmes. By the end of the event, the kids were given farewell gifts.
Usha Mamgai, social worker, Janpahal Mahila Panchayat in East Delhi, was responsible for bringing in the kids from the Yamuna Pushta region. She said, “Today I am very happy that these kids are getting to experience the fun that they could only dream about.”
Akshay Mehta, one of the owners of Sufiaana, said, “Every day in restaurants, a lot of food gets wasted and we wished not to throw it away, but we also did not know what to do or how to reach the needy people. Then we heard about Feeding India who is working in this field. By holding such events, we give the underprivileged kids a chance to experience the joys of childhood like every other kid.”
While days like World Hunger Day or World Food Day (16 October) might be able to bring joy to some kids, it is merely a drop in the ocean. Here the question arises—what about the other deprived kids and what about other days when no special celebrations are held? On this, Akshay Mehta said, “There are numerous restaurants and hotels in India. If they decide to give food to these underprivileged people, then I don’t think anybody will have to go to sleep on an empty stomach.”
With this aim, the Feeding India team works 365 days a year. On a telephonic conversation, Ankit Kawatra, founder of Feeding India, said, “Many believe that African nations have the highest number of hungry people. However, that is a misconception. We have the highest population of hungry people on the planet and many don’t know about it.”
Feeding India has also introduced initiatives like awareness campaigns and food donation drives in their battle against hunger. Kawatra concluded, “We are also working in partnership with Zomato and India Gate [the rice brand] to curb food wastage. Now with the upcoming wedding season, we are asking people to not waste food and donate the excess food.”