Right to Food ensured by this Roti Bank

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A group of 5 elders and 40 youth have begun an initiative to provide food to over 400 people by collection and distribution in one of the country’s poorest districts.

​Poverty is a big bad monster that India is facing and one of its subsequent results in hunger. People constantly underestimate it. Though I have heard quite a few people say that  one should consider oneself privileged to be able to eat food, and be able waste it; it is seldom that there is an organized effort to battle this nagging issue. Sure, you give food away to beggars at times, but the current world has made us suspicious of the homeless too. We do not know who is genuine and who is not, who needs help and who is just a con. A leap of faith is all we can take, but only faith cannot right things, we need to act. And this group did exactly that.

Mahoba is one of Bundelkhand’s most backward districts. But we still insist that you visit it, or at least read about the ingenious ‘bank’ that a few volunteers have come up with. The ‘roti bank’ gives home-cooked rotis and vegetables to the needy every day and is managed by a group of 5 elders and 40 youngsters.


Photo for representational purpose only. Courtesy: here

The beneficiaries of the bank include infirm patients and attendants outside hospitals, the destitute on the roads and railway station, slum dwellers and the poor undergoing treatment at home. The helping bank began in April and now it feeds over 400 people. The volunteers had initially started by feeding people on the Railway station, but now they have expanded to cover a major part of the city.

The system they work with is very simple with two components – first, the collection of the food and then the distribution of it. For the collection, volunteers go door to door and ask people to donate two rotis to the bank which are then distributed. For an efficient system, the group has divided the city into eight sectors and prepared a list of volunteers for both components. People from the group go to collect the rotis in pairs. All the collections are then brought to a common point where the listed volunteers for distribution take over.

They just request one thing from the residents, that is, please give only fresh food as they do not wish to distribute stale food.


Photo for representational purpose only. Courtesy: here

Tara Patkar is the brain behind the initiative and Haji Muddan heads the group. The initiative was started under the banner of Bundeli Samaj and now has many supporters including some caterers. But the group is mindful of wastage and is thus reluctant to expand further without knowing the exact number of the beneficiaries that they could reach.

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