What do you do with the leftover food after a house party? What happens to the food that is leftover at restaurants/weddings or big gatherings? Have you as an individual ever thought of channelising this excess food back to the needy in society? Read one such story from Hyderabad where several homeless children do not end up sleeping hungry.
- Malleshwar Rao, 26, who hails from Nizamabad, was born into a family which did not have the financial means to support him
- At the age of five, social reformer Hemalatha Lavanam picked him up from the streets and provided him with an education in Samskar Ashram Vidyalayam, which she had co-founded with her husband
- He studied under her tutelage till her death in 2008
- Hemalatha had worked extensively to eradicate the Jogini system in Nizamabad, and Malleshwar too was inspired by that
- He has talked about the struggles of the ‘Joginis’ at various platforms including international ones
- 20-years later, Malleshwar runs a network called ‘Don’t Waste Food’ which feeds 2,000 persons daily and is 2018 Indian Youth Icon awardee
- For a living, Malleshwar works as a curator for TEDx Talks (Delhi)
I do not want to break this chain of kindness. Someone was kind to me once. That is why I am giving it back.
Food For Thought
- ‘Don’t Waste Food’ collects extra food from hotels and parties and feeds around 9,000 persons at a few places in the country, including 500-2000 in Hyderabad
- The group has branches and active chain in New Delhi, Rohtak as well as in Dehradun
- In Hyderabad, the food is also distributed among relatives who accompany poor patients and wait outside government hospitals like Gandhi Hospital, Osmania Hospital and Niloufer Hospital
- The distribution is done during the night and the volunteers work often up to 2 am
- Besides this, Malleshwar has also founded a group called ‘Friendly School’ that teaches around 4,000 slum children across 16 cities in India
- In Hyderabad, the volunteers teach at a slum in Gachibowli
How does Malleshwar find volunteers to distribute the food?
I usually put up a post on our ‘Don’t Waste Food’ Facebook group, and people have mostly been forthcoming. During weekends, many IT employees volunteer. Sometimes, if I do not find anyone, I go alone. All the associated expenses for this endeavour is borne by me.
Whenever we read such stories in society, it makes us feel we all can do so much – every small deed which can make a big difference to the less privileged can be so satisfying. Choose any one activity which you think you can sustain for good and bring about a positive change in someone’s life forever.
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