Over 800 million people in the world are surviving without food today. In India alone, 14 percent of the population is undernourished.
Hunger, poverty, and severe malnourishment are not alien to India. They have existed for hundreds of years. While our rating may vary from year to year, what doesn’t change is the number of people starving for a single meal.
In the current pandemic, the case has only worsened. Those who relied on daily wages have found themselves without work. Several people are now homeless since they cannot afford to pay rent and support their families. Although individuals, communities, and groups have been engaged in extending food and supplies to the homeless, the need is ever-increasing.
Here are some silent hands that have brought sustenance and solace to the hungry:
We all turn to ATMs when we need a quick money fix. However, the poor and needy in Andhra Pradesh turn to an ATM (any time meal) called Ramu Dosapati when they need food. An HR professional, Ramu sets aside 70 percent of his monthly income to procure rice for the poor. He helped over 60,000 people last year and is committed to doing better this year. Although he had to resort to selling part of his land, giving up on his dreams of a bigger house for his family, and even tapping into his Provident Fund reserves, nothing stops Ram from his need to serve.
A large movement that has 10 centers around the country and over 3,000 volunteers, the Vishalakshi Foundation has done some incredible work in spreading education, wellness, health, and nutrition to hundreds of children. Their focus during the pandemic has been to provide food to migrant workers. Having supported over 25,000 workers during the first wave, the Foundation did twice as much when the second wave hit. Nilay Agarwal, the pioneer of the movement, hopes that more donations will enable better outreach and greater relief.
For about five years now, Humanity First has been tirelessly serving breakfast to families at government hospitals, orphanages, and railway stations. The pandemic has made them reach out to migrant workers and other struggling families as well. Their aim is to amplify operations to reach more people and provide lunch and dinner as well. Mohammed Shujatullah, the man behind the movement, hopes that everyone will eventually be assured three nutritious meals a day.
Ann Patra India
The districts of Hapur and Ghaziabad are indeed fortunate. Anna Patra India distributes free meals to thousands of displaced families. As hungry people throng to designated bus stands, hospitals, slums, and railway stations knowing there is someone who has help to offer, Tarun Manav and Ann Patra India hope to extend help to many more than the thousand lives they touch every day.
Hope Welfare Trust
This trust, founded by a group of volunteering students, works with families located in the Kashi colony in Varanasi. This is where at least one member of each family suffers from leprosy. Although their work is concentrated around helping the children and families at Kashi, they also work on the empowerment of rural areas and women in over 150 villages in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The pandemic has mobilized Hope Welfare Trust to provide grocery kits to needy families in the area.
You can support NGOs fighting hunger here.