This is one of my favourite dialogue from an old Telugu movie “I respect hunger very much“. That was touching. Just as sunlight shines upon everyone, water quenches the thirst of every soul, air is life to everyone, hunger knows no distinguish. It is the same for rich, for the poor; for human beings and for animals. And hunger is one of the driving force that could make people choose extremes. A highly qualified graduate takes up the job of an ordinary salesperson wandering from door to door in the scorching heat because he has mouths to feed at home and he simply can’t afford to let them go hungry. A woman (not referring to the well-educated ones who want to lead a life of luxury) forays into flesh trade because hunger is hounding her and her kin. A farmer commits suicide because he found death to be an easy way out than suffering from hunger. Millions of infants dying across the globe every year because of hunger. I can go on with such moving incidents and examples where hunger pushes them, corners them to the unimaginable.
Hunger moves me immensely. I have witnessed my own father who died suffering from cancer so badly wanted to eat something as he was unable to gulp down anything from his throat. That was sheer pain. I felt so sorry for him. In fact, everyone in the family – my brother, mother, uncle, aunt – refrained from talking or discussing food in front of him. If cancer was an apparent reason that took him down his pain was aggravated by even more painful hunger. We too experienced his pain.
That was a page from my life. There are more intercepts in those pages that have not only made me respect hunger even more but hungry people makes me feel sorry for them. I make it a point that whenever any poor – homeless-helpless seeks some help (using “begging” would be too degrading) I try to give something to eat in my capacity. After all the money that we donate serves this purpose only, isn’t it?
Innumerable incidents, so much pain all around that I have seen and experienced makes me ponder over a few questions or rather issues:
- How could fortunate ones waste food? Do they realise the magnitude of pain a hungry person undergoes?
- Why do people intentionally want to remain hungry while chasing their “dream figure”. More and more people from this generation are becoming anorexics? NOTE: Healthy eating and dieting have nothing to do with abstaining from food.
- When would governments of agriculture prime countries have a better mechanism to store food grains for longer periods, in healthy conditions? Just an example: The paradox of millions going hungry in India while food goes to waste is receiving increasing amounts of attention as the FAO stresses that one-third of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted every year. (Source Google)
- What can we actually do to help?
We have a saying in India (which is a global truth) – Roti, Kapda aur Makaan – which literally means Bread(food), cloth and shelter. These are the basic requirements of any human being and food takes the prime spot. That is self-explanatory what it means to be hungry. Talking about food, hunger and how sorry I feel about people going hungry every day I came across few interesting things t that good Samaritans are doing across the world: Langars (community kitchens) in Gurudwaras (sacred place of worship for Sikh community) serve everyone without any bias of class, colour and creed. A hungry person is always welcomed there. Food facility centres are being run who urge people to donate instead of throwing away the food so that that food can be used to pacify at least one hungry stomach. Just like charitable hospitals, there are people who cook and serve at no to very low prices making food affordable for everyone.
Perfect and Inspiring example: “Narayanan Krishnan was a bright, young, award-winning chef with a five-star hotel group, short-listed for an elite job in Switzerland. But a quick family visit home before heading to Europe changed everything.
“I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” Krishnan said. “It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime.”
I can go on about this but I must respect your time as well just as I respect hunger 😊. Remember this: always thank God as our hands reach our mouth for there are many whose tears are reaching their lips to satiate the fire burgling in their stomachs.