Dabbawalas are the real heroes of Mumbai, in India. You could count on them and call them to feed the poor. In just about 2 years, Mumbai’s Dabbawalas have been able to save food which is worth around Rs. 40 Lakh (equal to $62K) from getting wasted and they have fed the poor, who are in dire need of nutrition. Millions in India die every year of starvation. A huge chunk of Indian population suffer from hunger.
On the Global Hunger Index, India is at the 97th position. According to a study by International Food Policy Research Institute (IRPRI), one sixth of India’s population is undernourished, while 190 million people go to bed hungry daily. A total of 30% children below the age of 5 years are underweight. India alone accounts for around 30% of neo-natal deaths internationally, all linked to malnutrition.
Roti Bank, which is basically a waste management drive that has been initiated by the famous Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA), around two years ago has been successful in saving food from getting wasted and they have made good use of the materials wasted. In fact, the team has had a constructive tie up with several caterers, wedding planners, as well as food joints across the city and so that their staff members are able to collect leftover food from them under this initiative and then distributes it among the poor in order to curb food wastage.
When their staff members collect the food and other materials, they eat a small portion of it and taste it and only after they find that it is in a good condition, they distribute it. They also make sure that the distribution takes place within 3 to 4 hours of a food donation request. The team drops as well as picks up more than 2 lakh tiffins every day. They feed about 300 to 400 homeless people in a day on an average and has dedicated around 200 of its 5000 employees staff strength in running this initiative. Kudos to their efforts that so many homeless people are getting a morsel to eat and not going to sleep with a hungry stomach.