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
Highlights
  • '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

World

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

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