BENGALURU: How many times have we been guilty of ignoring those begging for food on the roadside? The answer, unfortunately, is innumerable. Some of us couldn’t care less and some of us, even though we do, don’t know what to do about it.
Harshil Mittal, a 23-year-old software developer from Bengaluru, got tired of seeing hunger stricken faces everyday on his way to work and decided to make a difference.
“I’d see them everywhere on the streets everyday and it would always upset me. I kept wondering what I could do to help,” he said. “I felt like all we needed was a platform and we could do something about it. A platform that dealt solely with a little extra effort and good intentions and not any money,” he added.
This is when Lets Feed Bengaluru (LFB) that gets together once a month to feed the hungry with one good meal in slums across the city, was born. Started by Harshil and his friends Selina Elias and Ashutosh in October last, the initiative has fed 30,000 people so far. Based on the simple concept of cooking one extra meal in a month, the volunteers come together to give away those extra meals collectively as food packets to the needy in the city.
“It is something almost all of us can do.” said Irfan Khan, a volunteer from the group, “We enjoy home cooked meals as much as the next person. So why not share this joy?” The volunteers drop in the plastic container’s at the food donor’s house a day before the food drive and collect it with the freshly cooked food on the next day, he explained.
“They are all uniform in size, so no more or less for anyone. Then we pick it up at 12 in the afternoon and set out to distribute. Also we only accept vegetarian food.” Started off with 40 odd packets of food and three volunteers, today the initiative feeds twelve slums in the city with a dedicated team of 200, but they refuse to settle with that number. As part of Daan Utsav 2016, earlier called Joy of Giving Week, that is celebrated in the first week of October, they aim at reaching two lakh hungry mouths across Bengaluru.
“We are collaborating with Humane Universal Good and Feed Your Neighbour this time and have 900 food donors. This is a huge task and collectively it will come true.” remarks the 29 year old, who works as a corporate trainer and has been a part of LFB since last year.