Founder of Feeding India and an alumnus of DU’s Keshav Mahavidhyalaya College, Ankit Kawatra has been selected by the United Nations as a Young Leader to advocate the Sustainable Development Goals. He is one of the 17 people who were selected from 18,000 nominations across 186 countries.
At the age of 22 when he left his corporate job to start Feeding India – a youth-run, not-for-profit organisation that channelises excess food to feed the hungry, never had Ankit thought that his brainchild will get him international recognition. What had started as a team of 5, the organisation grew to a network of more than 2,000 volunteers in 28 cities in India feeding over 1 million meals.
On 19th September 2016, Kawatra was announced as a United Nations Young Leader at the Social Good Summit in New York. Speaking to an online portal, he was quoted as saying, “I worked in a global business advisory firm for two years. One day, I went to a celebrity wedding where there were around 10,000 people invited for the wedding and more than 35 cuisines were laid for them. I decided to stay back to see what happened with the food. To my shock and despair, heaps of leftover food was thrown straight into the bin which could have fed 5,000 people just that single night,” and this is what made him think about ‘Feeding India’.
His NGO not only works towards solving hunger and malnutrition in India by redistributing excess food from weddings, corporate, canteens, banquets and households but it has also undertaken several projects in the past two years. These include ‘The Magic Truck’, a 24X7 refrigerated vehicle moving around the city collecting and donating excess food.
“We have adopted many donation centres, self-run schools and shelter homes for children, elderly and specially-abled. We provide them with nutritious and well balanced meals,” Kawatra said in an interview to a renowned online platform.
By diverting food from being dumped in ever growing landfills, Feeding India helps reduce methane gas from being produced. Additionally, it helps in reducing carbon footprints, by saving on the fuel and money that would have been spent in getting rid of the extra food.
With inputs from csrlive.in and thebetterindia.com