By Felix Anthony
Tinsukia, Nov 18, 2018: Two men have launched a project to feed the hungry in the streets of Tinsukia, a commercial town in the northeastern Indian state of Assam.
“We do not want anyone in the town to go to sleep on empty stomach. However, we only act as a medium between people who can and who cannot,” says Amit Bhattacharjee, who started the Roti Bank with Prasant Goenka on November 18, the World Day of the Poor.
Bhattacharjee says they tell people and school children just to bring one extra roti (Indian bread) to workplace or to school and drop it in a baskets kept at some important locations in the town and in the school campuses. “We insist on dropping only fresh roti lest the basket should become a dustbin,” the owner of a small uniform shop in the town told Matters India.
Asked what prompted them to take up the venture, Bhattacharjee said they were pained to see steep rise in hatred and division among people. “The recent killing of five men from Bengal in Tinsukia district prompted so much violence across the state. We thought why not unite people under a noble cause and what can be a better way than food?” he added.
The Roti Bank not only unites the people but feeds the hungry. “We want people to know that they are not giving alms but are serving the humanity,” Goenka explained.
They spread awareness about their venture through social media. So far, they have managed to feed around 300.
They plan to hold the Roti Bank event on Saturdays.
“It is very encouraging to see kind and likeminded people coming to support us with their roti. We plan to make Roti Bank event bi-weekly from next month,” Bhattacharjee said.
The duo’s venture is seen as a small step to make a difference for the hungry in India that now ranks 103 at the Global Hunger Index.