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‘I Had to Sleep Hungry As a Kid’: This Man’s Free Tiffin Service Feeds Hundreds of Elderly Daily

Deepankar Patil, the founder of ‘Art of Helping Foundation’ in Pune, quit his job as a graphic designer to help senior citizens. With his foundation, he gives free tiffin service to the elderly.

‘I Had to Sleep Hungry As a Kid’: This Man’s Free Tiffin Service Feeds Hundreds of Elderly Daily

At just 25, Deepankar Patil left his job as a graphic designer to do something meaningful. Now 31, he is the founding member of the ‘Art of Helping Foundation’.

Established in 2018, the NGO has been providing meals and support to hundreds of seniors (ajjis and azobas) in Pune. They offer regular tiffin services to elderly individuals without caregivers. The team of volunteers not only delivers nutritious meals but also takes care of household chores, provides groceries, blankets, and medicines.

Deepankar was only two years old when he lost his father. Growing up fatherless came with a lot of issues but one of them was bringing food to the table. “My mother raised me and my elder sister all on her own. We often went to bed hungry and famished,” he tells the Milaap Foundation in an interview.

So with a deep understanding of what hunger and helplessness feels like, when Deepankar started to earn an income, he started taking some time out to deliver food to the senior citizens of Pune.

Later, he decided to give up his career and dedicate all his time to serving others. Treating all the elderly people like his grandparents, Deepankar has provided thousands of free meals through his foundation, so far.

“When I was very sick once, a dadi told me that a person who feeds hundreds need to be alive for as long as he can,” he says, adding that this love he receives from these seniors keeps him going.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)

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