Once A Child Labourer, This Hyderabad Techie Has Been Feeding Thousands Of Hungry People For Free Everyday For Last Nine Years

Once A Child Labourer, This Hyderabad Techie Has Been Feeding Thousands Of Hungry People For Free Everyday For Last Nine Years

Malleshwar Rao, a 27-year-old resident of Hyderabad, started a “Don’t Waste Food” initiative in 2011 under which he with the help of several volunteers distribute the leftovers from large events to the poor and needy
Swasth Warrior: Once A Child Labourer, This Hyderabad Techie Feeds Thousands Of Hungry People For Free Everyday"Feeding the hungry is not an act of charity, it is the duty of each one of us," says 27-year-old Malleshwar Rao who has been feeding thousands of people everyday for free
  • 'Don’t Waste Food' group doesn’t let extra food at hotels, parties go waste
  • The group has branches in New Delhi, Rohtak and Dehradun
  • Malleshwar’s another initiative aims to provide the poor with essentials

New Delhi: At the age of five, because of the financial difficulties his family was facing, Malleshwar Rao was forced to work as a child labourer at roadside stalls and constructions sites in and around Hyderabad city. At work, he used to suffer because of the abusive nature of employees and everyday he felt sad about dropping out of school. It was on one fateful day that a passer-by saw him and offered to help him get enrolled in a charitable school that provides education for free of cost. This act of kindness helped Malleshwar immensely and it turned around not just his life but also the lives of many others. Now, a 27-year-old Malleshwar through his initiative ‘Don’t Waste Food’ has been collecting extra food from restaurants and houses arounds the city to feed the poor. Currently, he along with several volunteers is feeding around 2,000 people on a daily basis.

Also Read: Government School Students In Telangana Make ‘Zero Waste’ Sanitary Napkins

While talking about his journey, Malleshwar said to NDTV,

My father, a farmer in Nagpur lost all of his freshly cut harvest when I was little as it got drenched in the rain. With no crop insurance and no savings, the loss could not be recovered and we came under a lot debt. We had to sell everything and move to a friend’s place in Nizamabad, Telangana. Only if my father got work during the day would we get food at night. And during festivals, he would have no work at all. So while the whole world would be feasting, we would be fasting. As the situation worsened, I opted for manual labour when I was 5-years-old. My younger brother was too little to work and father developed drinking habit after which our lives plunged further into darkness.

After completing schooling from the charitable school, Malleshwar went on to pursue higher education while working at multiple part-time jobs on the side. In 2012, during the first year of college, Malleshwar, a student of Bachelor of Technology in Electric and Communication, got a chance to work as a waiter at an event.

There was a lot of leftover food at the end of the event which the organisers gave us for free. Recalling my hunger-filled days, I proposed to my fellow waiters that we pack it all up and distribute it to the homeless people in the city. That is when it struck to me that maybe I should try and get the leftover food from events happening around the city daily and give it those who need it. Eventually, the initiative started gaining trust of organisers and restaurant owners and started receiving calls from them. This is how the ‘Don’t Waste Food’ initiative was started, he said.

Malleshwar gathered support from a number of volunteers across Hyderabad and soon in other cities like New Delhi, Rohtak and Dehradun.

Nanda Marri, a Software Engineer from Hyderabad who is a volunteer at ‘Don’t Waste Food’ said to NDTV,

My journey with Malleshwar Rao started in an unexpected manner for a cause. Then I got to know that he did an impossible thing during lockdown which was feeding more than 20,000 people per day, and also helped the needy in many ways during the lockdown period. I was truly inspired by him and decide to become a volunteer and assist him. He has motivated many of us to work more for people who are starving from days. I am proud to be a part of this journey.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: This 42-Year-Old Ambulance Driver In Hyderabad Resumes Duty Within A Week Of Recovering From Coronavirus

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and a nationwide lockdown was implemented, Malleshwar continued feeding the poor. Apart from the leftover food from hotels and restaurants, the ‘Don’t Waste Food’ initiative receives support in the form of food donations and transportation assistance from households and corporates. Social media network has also helped Malleshwar to a large extent. It not only helps him to find more volunteers and gather support but also to identify those in need.

Owner of the restaurant Srinivasa Meals in Kondapur, Telangana who regularly donates food to the ‘Don’t Waste Food’ campaign said,

When we donate food for the needy, it makes us happy just like it makes happy when we serve our customers. We are proud of donating all the leftover food to the campaign. Even though we are not physically present when the food is being distributed to the needy, we get updates of the distributions from the group daily along with pictures. Feeding the hungry is the noblest cause. We will continue donating the food to the group for distribution.

As the COVID-19 situation worsened in the state of Telangana, Malleshwar started another initiative called ‘Connect Hope’ which aims to provide items of essential needs like masks, ration, soaps to the needy.

Malleshwar been recognised widely because of his initiatives and has won various awards like Indian Youth Icon 2018, Rashtriya Gaurav Award 2019, and Son of the Soil award 2019. His work was also acknowledged by Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group who took to Twitter and wrote in appreciation,

I will not complain about 2020 being a difficult year after having seen this. Malleshwar Rao, I salute you & will support you. Life isn’t difficult when you remove the difficulties of others.

When asked about what keeps him motivated to continue the philanthropic work and feed thousands of people everyday, Malleshwar said,

Feeding the hungry is not just an act of charity, it is the supreme duty of each one of us. There was someone who once helped me and saved my life. It is my turn now.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: Victoria Jayamani, A ‘Much Loved’ Head Nurse In Hyderabad Died Of Coronavirus Just Days Before She Was To Retire

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,59,54,660 and 41,87,297 have died; 6,30,45,359 are active cases and 12,87,22,004 have recovered as on July 29, 2021 at 4:00 am.


3,15,28,114 43,509Cases
4,03,840 4,404Active
3,07,01,612 38,465Recovered
4,22,662 640Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,28,114 confirmed cases including 4,22,662 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,03,840 and 3,07,01,612 have recovered as on July 29, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

62,82,914 6,857

85,913 466

60,64,856 6,105

1,32,145 286


33,27,301 22,056

1,50,040 4,164

31,60,804 17,761

16,457 131


28,99,195 1,531

22,592 82

28,40,147 1,430

36,456 19

Tamil Nadu

25,53,805 1,756

21,521 667

24,98,289 2,394

33,995 29

Andhra Pradesh

19,59,942 2,010

20,999 34

19,25,631 1,956

13,312 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,313 87

768 30

16,84,790 116

22,755 1

West Bengal

15,25,773 815

11,370 10

14,96,294 811

18,109 14


14,36,093 67

573 3

14,10,471 61

25,049 3


10,01,651 164

2,226 164

9,85,905 327

13,520 1


9,72,517 1,703

15,765 65

9,51,049 1,699

5,703 69


9,53,605 30

268 10

9,44,384 40



8,24,802 28

274 11

8,14,452 39


Madhya Pradesh

7,91,778 11

130 8

7,81,135 18

10,513 1


7,69,828 32

702 1

7,59,499 28

9,627 3


7,24,673 76

480 4

7,14,554 80



6,43,093 657

9,314 77

6,29,986 578

3,793 2


5,98,947 65

559 24

5,82,102 84

16,286 5


5,62,731 1,276

14,499 536

5,43,031 1,791

5,201 21


3,47,049 27

237 10

3,41,686 36

5,126 1


3,41,934 60

672 13

3,33,901 47


Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,026 160

1,139 15

3,15,511 144

4,376 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,499 116

953 30

2,01,026 84

3,520 2


1,70,810 81

1,082 48

1,66,586 127

3,142 2


1,20,627 97

923 0

1,17,912 96

1,792 1


95,824 1,003

10,922 120

83,392 871

1,510 12


77,788 376

3,861 107

73,177 267

750 2


63,014 541

5,456 124

56,510 409

1,048 8


61,943 5

36 1

61,098 6


Arunachal Pradesh

47,142 342

4,301 14

42,617 325

224 3


36,407 1,110

11,610 686

24,657 424



27,586 114

1,350 34

25,684 78

552 2


25,856 240

3,117 42

22,406 198



20,320 6

64 6

20,049 12


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,642 3

41 3

10,597 6



10,155 6

76 6

10,029 11

50 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,531 1

7 5

7,395 6


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