R B Shivakumar, 36, a resident of Rajajinagar has been collecting surplus vegetarian foods from social and private functions in and around his residence for the past three years and distributing it to around 150 low income families in his locality. He employs six people to assist him.
On May 22nd, Shivakumar says he distributed lunch to more than 20,000 people. The food was collected from five different kalyana mantapas located in and around Rajajinagar. And the food was distributed to slum dwellers of Gopalpura and Chamundi Nagar. Babu, one of the recipient from Chamundi Nagar says, “It is a good idea, here all the families are happy about it.”
Shivakumar gets calls from Whitefield, Jayanagar, JP Nagar and other parts of Bangalore to pick up left over food. Late May, he got a call from somebody in Koramangala saying that rain stopped people from attending a large function, and food meant for a 1000 people was going waste. Unfortunately he could not pick up the food for lack of resources. “I want some youth to come forward,” he says, asking for volunteers to take up this task in different areas.
Chikkamma Ramaiah Kalyana Mantapa is one of those mantapas from which Shivakumar regularly collects surplus food. Kemparaj, the owner, says, “Earlier we were worried about throwing food in the garbage, but now Shivakumar is doing a great job and I support him.”
Kumar has been involved in the banana leaf business for the past 15 years. He says that one common thing he observed when he went to deliver banana leaves to kalyana mantapas is that there is always a surplus amount of food that makes way to BBMP garbage trucks. On the other hand, he saw families in his neighbourhood struggling daily to get a square meal.
Shivakumar can be reached at 9844358514
Kumar invested Rs 20 thousand for this service. Kumar’s father, R V Badraiah is also a social worker. His family is very happy about his idea and he says, “With out my family support I can’t do any thing".
Kumar recently started a programme called “Asare Loka". Text books and bus pass are distributed free of cost to children of lower income families. He also unsuccessfully contested for the recently held BBMP elections. ⊕