According to statistics, 15.2% of India’s population has no access to nutritious food and is facing a severe health crisis. In the face of this grave reality, there are some good Samaritans in Delhi who collect food and donate it among the needy. With various shelters across Delhi-NCR, these people are helping the poor , one healthy meal at a time.
The year was 2012 when Kuldip Nar decided to establish India’s first food bank. “There are so many people in Delhi who have no access to nutritious food. The condition of the migrant population, unaided children and destitutes drove me to start the Delhi NCR Food Bank,” he says. His organisation is in tie-ups with 21 NGOs that help distribute the food. “We collect raw food, but if people have surplus cooked food, then they need to contact us in advance so that efficient distribution can be ensured,” he adds.
Robin Hood is just not a fictional character and there is an army in the country, feeding the poor. Called the Robin Hood Army, they operate in 22 cities across the world.Their Delhi Chapter is headed by Chaitanya Puri who says, “We have tied up with restaurants, some of which also cook fresh food for the drives.” They have volunteers working in the four zones of Delhi. “If you want to donate food, then you can contact us on Facebook and we will send a volunteer to collect that food,” he adds.
For Dr. Rajesh Kumar, co-founder of the Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM), the main aim is to facilitate hygienic conditions for people to eat food in. He says, “We make sure that the children wash their hands and sit down before eating.We have over 50 shelters which are located in close proximity to the city’s slums. This proximity prevents food from going bad and saves time.” He adds, “If you know that there will be leftover food after a party, then you must call us in advance so that effective collection and distribution can take place.”
Anil Landge, who founded Mera Parivar that operates in Gurgaon feels that even if one family from one high-rise in Gurgaon can cook one extra meal a day, then the results will be phenomenal. He asks, “How much does two chapattis or bowl of dal cost?” They have 10 volunteers who distribute food across three feeding stations to children and the labour class. “We request people to give fresh food so that the health of the recipients is not affected,” he concludes.
Srishti, one of the core members of Feeding India says, “We call our volunteers hunger heroes who are active in more than 20 cities. We distribute food among those who absolutely do not have access to it such as the aged, the orphans, the specially-abled and the homeless,” she adds.
* Give food that is fresh and fit for consumption.
* Contact the organisations well in advance so that efficient pickups can be arranged.
* Take charge and distribute surplus food at night shelters and slums if you can’t find a volunteer.
* In your individual capacity, you can avoid a lot of food wastage. Donate whatever you won’t eat the same day. Cook only as much as you will consume.
* Spread awareness
* Robin Hood Army: 9717029621
* Delhi NCR Food Bank: 9810007524; 011 65422890
* SPYM: 9891268872; 011 26893872
* Mera Parivar: 0124 4111787
* Feeding India: 9871178810