Bound by the million dollar mansions of Koramangala on one side, and the upscale city center on the other, is Bangalore’s largest slum. This runs through the neighborhoods of Rajendra Nagar, LR Nagar, Neelsandra, Vivek Nagar and then on to Adugodi. Imagine all the regular problems you see in Bangalore – poor hygiene and sanitation, awful roads, lack of drinking water, inconsistent power – then multiply it a 100 times. This is the sad reality in the slums. Over one lakh people co-exist with animals, disease, and much misery, trying to plough through the day.
Of all the challenges, the most urgent is hunger. That most basal of human need. Lacs of grown-ups and children go to bed hungry. Or dive through the many piles of awful trash because they can’t bear it anymore.
Swabhimaan is trying to bridge this supply and demand. For the past year or so, we have been collecting this leftover food after lunch, and distributing it the same day in the slums. We’ve arranged a TATA ace with driver, vessels and containers, and a small shop which functions as distribution hub. With just 2 corporates on board, we are able to feed 500 people each day. In other words, we distribute close to 10,000 meals a month at a cost of Rs. 40,000. A whopping 4 rupees per meal. Let’s say that again. 4 rupees – That’s all it takes to make sure that a child does not go hungry.