Roti Bank, a lifeline for many and novel way to feed the hungry
Roti Bank concept at Bopodi has citizens who donate freshly cooked food and the needy who avail of it on a daily basis
Noor Roti Bank is the first-of-its-kind initiative launched in Bopodi, where citizens can donate freshly cooked food, which will then be distributed to the poor.
The Roti Bank was first launched in Aurangabad. The Bopodi bank was launched in April. It has 55 donors, and around 80 poor people are availing of the facility daily.
Noor Roti Bank
Nisar Attar, one of the founders of the Roti Bank, said, “Anyone who wants food and anyone who wishes to donate food is welcome here. We are not discriminating on any grounds. We do not investigate the background of the needy. Even if the needy are alcoholics, we are ready to provide them food.”
Explaining the initiative, another founder, Firoz Attar, said, “To open an account at the Roti Bank, the donor has to fill up a form and obtain a code number. The mandatory registration formalities are for safety purposes. If there is a case of food poisoning, we can track the donor easily through this code number. As per the demand of the needy, we give them roti, rice and cooked vegetables. We chose Bopodi as it is a centre point for Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune. As the project grows and as the people from faraway places show interest in contributing, we might appoint a person to collect food from them on regular basis. Currently the maximum number of donors and receivers are from nearby areas like Khadki, Bopodi and Dapodi.”
Another founder, Zuber Pirzade, said, “We accept vegetarian food only, so that people from all the religions can avail of the facility. It is also about sensitising people. People cannot run away from their social responsibility just by giving cash, so we do not accept cash and people come here with food, which then creates a sense of commitment in them.”
Nilesh Nimbalkar, a HSC student from Modern College, who comes daily to donate food, said, “I was so inspired by the project that I convinced my family to donate here. I have also been creating awareness about the project among my friends and two of my friends have started donating here already.”
Another donor, Rajendra Shedge, said, “I donate here on weekly basis. Rather than giving money to the poor, it is always satisfying to help them with cooked food.”
A needy person who avails of the facility, Satish Atalekar, said, “I come here daily. I am from Kolhapur and work here as a daily wage labourer. Neither I nor my family have a regular income. This is a very crucial service for me.”
“Nobody should go hungry, nobody should sleep on an empty stomach” is our motto. We collect roti from households and distribute them to the poor, homeless and hungry,” Attar said.
Originally published on The Golden Sparrow