Be it a festival, a party or a celebration at home, different types of food are prepared. When food is left, there is no delay in throwing it away. This trend is commonly seen in cities. In such a situation, a teacher from West Bengal started a unique first. This teacher collects the leftover food and distributes it among the poor children. There is little to appreciate this unique initiative of theirs. Computer science teacher Chandrashekhar Kundu is the founder of Food Education and Economic Development (FEED). This organization collects leftover food (not junk) from the canteens of colleges and offices every day. After this, by distributing this food among the poor children of Kolkata and Asansol, their hunger ends.
Kundu has been doing this work for the last 6 years to fill the stomach of poor children . Six years ago, Kundu and his colleagues also started the work of preparing fresh meals to feed everyday children in the streets of Asansol. Along with this, they also give necessary information regarding food and nutrition to these children. He is popularly known as ‘Bhojanwala’ Kundu.
22,000 metric tonnes of food is wasted
In the year 2016, Chandra Shekhar Kundu had sought information from the Food Corporation of India regarding food wastage under the ‘right to information’. To this, the reply came that “22,000 metric tonnes of food grains are wasted every year in India. If the food is saved, then more than 10 million population can be fed.”
One incident changed life
when Chandra Shekhar was asked this question that how did he get the idea of filing RTI? So he replied, “It was in the year 2015, on the birthday of my son, Srideep, we had a party. After this party, we gave the food that was left to the hotel staff, yet there was enough food left which was thrown away. At that time I didn’t know what a big mistake I had made. When we started returning home, I stopped at an ATM to withdraw money, only then I saw two children eating something from the dustbin kept nearby I felt very bad to see those children in this condition. The thought came in my mind that just now we had wasted so much food and here these children have to eat food from the garbage. This incident changed my life. Recalling the incident, he said, “Saddened by that scene, I took them to their respective homes and gave whatever arrangements we could make to those children. I was cursing myself after throwing away the leftover food. Why has there never been a thought before that food should not be thrown away. I couldn’t sleep that night.”
Then started the work of feeding the poor children,
After this he decided to do something and started to find out the canteen of his college and such places around where food is wasted in large quantities every day. By collecting this food, he started filling the stomach of the poor children.
His efforts were highly appreciated by the people who worked with him and the students at Asansol Engineering College. Chandra Shekhar then founded a social organization, Food, Education and Economic Development (FEED). During this, he was supported by college students and fellow teachers. Apart from this, he contacted big educational institutions of Asansol and Kolkata and urged them to deliver the food left in their hostels, canteens to the needy. His point was accepted by the educational institutions. Chandra Shekhar Kundu told that “We started different projects under our organization like Commitment 365 Days, Protein Club.” Chandra Shekhar Kundu has partnered with CISF Barracks, IIM, Kolkata and some other offices for many projects Commitment 365 Days Project.
He told that ‘our volunteers collect food from here and distribute it among the needy.’
The aim of the Protein Club is to make children free from malnutrition. During their work, Chandra Shekhar and his team understood that dinner was essential. Often the children living on the sidewalks, slums, become malnourished due to not getting anything to eat at night. In such a situation, instead of relying on getting food at night, his team prepares food for the children at night and serves it to the children.
He informed that ‘Commitment 365 Days’ project is feeding 190 children at 4 places. Food is being served to 180 children at 3 places at night from Protein Club. According to him, till now he has saved about 3 lakh plates of food.
Apart from this, to provide good food to the children, Chandra Shekhar has also started evening schools to connect these children with education.