1:30 Am on a cold winter night. Everyone in the neighborhood is warm in their beds, sleeping comfortably. At that very time a few heroes are out on the roads with their storage containers, hand gloves, food quality checklists, packing food and distributing it.
We all have heard of late night food deliveries, so why are these people heroes? Well, because they are not just picking up any food, but instead are collecting excess food leftover from people like you and me, and distributing it to those who have no means or access to food. Why are they doing what they’re doing and who are these heroes?
Feeding India Hunger Heroes as they call themselves, are people like you and I who are on a mission to feed the poor of the country by channelizing only excess food. They have partnered with restaurants, caterers, corporate offices and even college hostels from where they channelize the leftover food to the nearest donation centers after performing certain quality checks to food safety.
Just like Batman for Gotham City and Superman for Metropolis, they are heroes for us because they took that initial step when no one did, selflessly. They have the courage to do what they do and solve India’s biggest problem of Hunger by changing the mindset of a country of 1.2 billion people who are mostly nonchalant about their wastage of food. Starting with a team of 5 last year, today they have grown to 1000+ hunger heroes in 20+ cities and have fed close to 3,00,000 nutritious meals to the needy, just with excess food! Their aim is to be spread to 50 cities by 2016 so they can serve as many people as possible.
“I love to see the smiling faces of the people we feed. Food is close to my heart and I love the simple way excess food can solve a problem like hunger. We feed kids, elderly, handicapped, people who cannot access food themselves ” says Soumay Sabharwal, a hunger hero.
Another hero Prakhar, quotes an incident – “I, once, went to an old man who was around 70 years of age and was sleeping near a metro station. I gave him a plate full of rice. He was so glad to see that food that he held my hand like a kid that very moment and told me that he had been looking for food since morning and was trying to sleep after finally losing hope. That was the best experience I ever had in my life”
Thanks to the Feeding India Hunger Heroes there are many in this country who have a changed mindset about food wastage and know it’s correct use. If you would like to become a Hunger Hero and work with the team at Feeding India, check out their website, join their Facebook page or mail them at – [email protected], but most of all salute them.
The Logical Indian community applauds these young heroes and pledge to save our love – Food!
Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.