Change To Change!

Change To Change!

3 mins 10.9K 3 mins 10.9K

My mother had always told me to, ’never talk to strangers’ but for once, I learnt a lesson for life, by doing just that. As any other day, my mother was preaching as to how insensitive we were towards food and the amount of leftovers that were tossed into the trash bin. It was my turn to dispose of the trash in the can into the locality’s garbage bin as our maid didn’t turn up. The recent Chennai floods had affected their area and our maid was absent. The newspapers and television channels were full of flood news but fortunately, our area was safe. I reluctantly dragged myself towards the garbage bin and could see the litter scattered around it.

There I spotted a woman, ragged in appearance, sorting through the litter and searching for something desperately. I couldn’t help but and ask that stranger what she was doing in that filth. She told that she was looking for food for her kids as they had not eaten for two days now and were starving.

The flood inundated their house and everything was washed away. The desperation and hunger had made her do something like this. It made me realize that how many people go through life without a single meal a day while we waste food heartlessly. That incident made me turn over a new leaf. I returned home with a new resolution to do my part in finding a solution to the hunger crisis.

I browsed the internet and found out that 160 trillion kilograms of food are wasted each year. If we could recover 25% of the food that is wasted we could provide 3 meals a day to 43 million starving people. The Chennai floods made me realize what hunger and poverty can do to people. I had witnessed tremendous food wastage at restaurants, weddings and other functions.

An idea struck my mind. I mobilized a network of my friends through on-line social network group and sensitized the cause. Everyone in the group was in acceptance and decided to get into action. We brainstormed several rounds for a workable solution and finally decided to contact restaurant owners as we came to know that everyday restaurants dispose a large quantity of leftover food into the trash. Our idea was to just pack up the leftover food and hand it to those who struggle to find a single meal a day.

It is hard to believe that there is a ‘hunger crisis’ in a country where there is surplus food. The problem is that a large part of it goes to waste. The estimate pegs India’s food wastage at Rs.40,000 crores. While some of it is due to lack of storage facilities a lot of it comes from restaurants. We all decided to bridge this gap between the food that was about to be tossed out and those that need it most. Driven by this passion and purpose, we requested the restaurants to put what they don’t use, to good use. Fortunately, all the restaurateurs agreed to it and were extremely supportive.

It was a win-win situation for all, where no one goes to sleep hungry. Feeding the bellies of those who need it the most is what keeps us motivated. We have somehow contributed our small bit towards the global goal of ‘zero hunger’. My school has also started a volunteer group where children contribute, pack and distribute food to the needy. "I cannot alone change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”.

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