By Prarthana Mitra
At a time when 20 crore people go hungry and starve every day, the food industry generates 1.8 lakh tonnes of waste every day in India. To bridge this gap between surplus and necessity, a retired IPS officer in collaboration with local and global entrepreneurs set up Roti Bank. The food bank aims to cater to everyone deprived of two square meals.
How does it work
A non-profit initiative involving the famous ‘Dabbawalas’ of Mumbai, Roti Bank deploys dedicated volunteers who visit door-to-door to collect leftovers from restaurants, parties, and clubs around the city, and then distribute the food to those in need. Two GPRS-equipped vans patrol the streets near government hospitals and slums to cater to the hungry and the needy, according to spokespersons for the social startup.
— Parent-Posts (@prntpsts) July 9, 2018
Founded by Maharashtra’s former Director General of Police D Sivanandan in December 2017, the response has been encouraging so far. In no time, it attracted the attention of Mumbai’s prolific network of tiffin carriers who proudly serve as the link between food wasters and food seekers. Additionally, Mumbai-born and London-based entrepreneur Nitin Khanapurkar also expressed interest and supported the cause by launching a round-the-clock helpline for Roti Bank.
— HungryForever Food Blog (@HungryForeverCo) July 6, 2018
A social startup
Sivanandan also encourages members of the privileged classes to “come and witness the joy of sharing (food),” while reflecting on the social benefits of mitigating hunger among street children, such as reduction in juvenile delinquency and street crime.
On being asked the source of his inspiration for the initiative, Sivanandan cited the immensely successful ‘No Food Waste’ crusade to end food waste and hunger underway in Chennai.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff wrier at Qrius.
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