In 2012, Usthad Hotel, a Malayalam movie, set an incredible precedent for films in the country with its realistic and unconventional narrative.
The plot revolved around Karim, a benevolent hotel owner, who, despite battling financial hardship, helped his friend feed the needy and homeless through his pocket.
The film not only sheds light on the advantage of the privilege that most of us take for granted but also upon the underlying fact that not everyone is bestowed with a silver spoon and there are people who have to struggle even to get one decent meal.
Moving from reel to real, there are many good Samaritans like Karim who have gone out of their way to feed those who cannot afford even a meal, let alone have a roof on their head.
Such acts of selflessness and humanitarian concern make one want to believe that kindness still exists in a world that seems to be increasingly governed by self-righteousness and flaunting one’s wealth.
We have picked five restaurants across the country that have opened their arms and doors to feed the homeless for free! Check them out:
1. Pappadavada, Kochi
By installing a fridge filled with uneaten food on the street outside her restaurant, Pappadavada, in Kochi, Minu Pauline’s name made it to international headlines for her compassionate yet exceptional idea.
The 29-year-old was driven to tackle both food waste and hunger after she was deeply saddened to see people scavenging leftover food from waste bins. Anyone can leave or take food from the fridge, which is nicknamed nanma maram, meaning ‘tree of goodness’, and remains unlocked.
2. Byblos, Bengaluru
A restaurant that offers exquisite Lebanese cuisine in the Garden city, Byblos teamed up with a group from the Rotary Club of Bangalore, and installed the “Fridge of kindness”, outside its premises stocking excess food from its kitchen and buffet for the underprivileged.
Open from noon till the restaurant closes around midnight and feeding more than 20 individuals on a daily basis, the initiative is the brainchild of the restaurant’s head chef, Ammar Molki, who was prompted by the helpless situation that people in his war-torn country Syria were going through.
3. Anchappam, Ranni
Located in the sylvan little town of Ranni in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, Anchappam is a food chain based in Kozhencherry, which has taken off under the initiative of Father Boby Kattikkad.
The restaurant offers free food to everyone and accepts money from only those who can pay for it. A total of 15 members have taken up the responsibility of the restaurant. With its noble act, the restaurant holds up the concept that ‘right to food is a fundamental right of a citizen.’
4. Rasoi on Wheels, New Delhi
‘Rasoi on Wheels’ stands out by delivering freshly prepared meals for the poor and needy, and not leftovers. Operating from an 800-square-foot kitchen where the food is prepared and packed, these folks deliver the food through a converted old Maruti Van and bear most of the cost for their charitable initiative.
The mastermind behind the concept is Atul Kapur, one of the five business partners who run the Q’BA restaurant in Connaught Place, New Delhi. Dishes like roti and chhole, kadhi-chawal, rajma-chawal and vegetable chowmein are part of the menu.
5. Operation Sulaimani
Inspired by Usthad Hotel, Operation Sulaimani is one man’s amazing initiative that brought together restaurants and citizens under a single umbrella to ensure that no one in Kozhikode slept on a hungry stomach. District Collector Prashant Nair spearheaded a project under which people could pay for meal coupons from distribution centres laid across the city. The initiative gives a needy person the opportunity to walk into any restaurant in Kozhikode with dignity and avail a good meal through these paid coupons that they can collect from the distribution centres.
Hats off to these compassionate folks who took it upon themselves to fight hunger and feed thousands of underprivileged people and make them believe in a stranger’s kindness.