“While I was in Chandigarh for my higher studies, I saw a vehicle named “Feeding India” that was delivering food to needy and underprivileged kids. That benevolent action got stuck into my head. I came back and started searching about it. On reading, I found Feeding India is one of the country’s largest NGO working on a mission to eradicate hunger, malnutrition, and food wastage. They work towards getting surplus meals from individuals, communities, weddings, restaurants, and corporate cafeterias. They as well prepare freshly cooked meals to serve the underserved. Ankit Khanna came up with the thought of feeding the underprivileged in 2014 when he saw the wastage of food in our country. In 2019, Zomato and Feeding India’s association gave birth to The Feeding Foundation.
The notion behind Feeding India convinced me to be a part of the organization and I volunteered there in Chandigarh for a year or so. In March 2020, I came to my hometown, Haridwar, and soon the country was under lockdown. Amid lockdown, I realized many children would be suffering from malnutrition. This gave me an idea to start Feeding India chapter in Haridwar.
So, I contacted the National Team for their guidance and support on how I can start the initiative in my city. They told me to have a team of people at first with whom I can work and coordinate well. I asked in my nearby circle, explained to them the cause but the response was not up to the mark. Then I asked my friends to join in and a few of them were ready.
Finally, I gathered my team of 3-4 friends and started with it. The number increased once we started working. When the team was ready, there was another obstacle waiting for us. It was regarding the arrangement for food. The main concept of our organization is to partner with restaurants and dhabbas to donate excess food. In lockdown, neither we were having any social gatherings nor any restaurant was providing services. Therefore, at the initial level, we decided to bring packed food from our respective homes. I’ve always had my parents by my side. They never stopped me, rather motivated me to contribute whatever I can for the well-being of the society.
Social media is truly a bliss. We shared our work through stories and posts on social media so that more people can involve themselves with us. Moreover, we also needed volunteers as more volunteers will lead to the addition of more home-cooked packed food. Hence this will, in turn, benefit more children. With this, we continued offering food to whatever number we could which gradually increased with the progress of our journey.
One thing we all learned while working and under the current situation is the necessity of food in our lives. Food is our basic requirement. To our surprise, we find many people who still sleep without having a meal the whole day. Hence, I urge people to not waste food as we never know when we might need it. The food you waste can be a life saviour for others.
The experience of serving others is like feeling a sense of euphoria. It’s believed to be the release of endorphins that is followed by a long-lasting period of calm and emotional wellbeing that helps to reduce stress levels. So, helping others and spreading smiles are always satisfying.”
Instagram – @feedingindia_haridwar
*The views expressed in the above article are of the writer and not of the winged club.*