Published On: April 23, 2018
Sociologist Robert Park is remembered, over 70 years after his death, for encouraging the young social worker or journalist or activist to get the “seat of your pants dirty in real research.”
What Park was trying to say is that a person working to change the lives of others needs a certain degree of familiarity, even intimacy with one’s subject, or they cannot do justice to the representation of that group, much less take active measures to lift them out of the cesspools of difficulty and ethical injustice they live in.
To feed the hungry, then, you will need to have seen how the hungry suffer and understood the battles they fight on a day to day to ensure that some morsels of food travel to their mouths and to the waiting mouths of their children.
In our country, the 200 million hungry are everywhere you look, and hunger a hardship impossible to not look in the eye. Zero hunger, anti-hunger workers agree, is what they dream of, in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which prioritize eradication of hunger and poverty alleviation as the top two items on its agenda.
Changemakers are venturing into this space of grave need, and launching a powerful foray against hunger as social evil.
What does this skirmish against hunger look like? Who are the faces connected to this essential, belated movement that promises national uplift of the destitute into havens where food security is real and tangible? These are the people leading the fight against hunger in India.
Md. Sujath Ullah
The 24-year-old from Hyderabad went to Secunderabad Railway Station at the end of an important exam to buy food for a few of the homeless people who live on the premises in makeshift shanties.
This celebratory gesture showed Sujath Ullah that there were many more who needed to be fed, and on a daily basis.
The pharmacy graduate has built a team of volunteers in the last couple of years and serves well-cooked, hot breakfast to about 1000 people near two Hyderabad government hospitals every morning.
Sujathullah has founded and runs the Humanity First Foundation, which works against poverty, and also organizes water camps in the summer and blanket distribution drives in the winter.