Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi, a social activist from Hyderabad, has recently been granted the prestigious United Kingdoms Commonwealth Points of Light Award for his initiative 'Hunger Has No Religion'. The hunger drive feeds about 1,500 people every day in five cities across the country, The New Indian Express reported.
Presented by the British government, the award is given to the outstanding individual volunteers who make a positive difference through their services to the community around them.
"Azhar's contribution to society is incredible and has meant the difference between a meal or no meal for millions. There are many similar missions of selfless sacrifice and service, some emerging as a result of the pandemic, but the powerful 'Hunger has no Religion' has run for eight years, reaching the most vulnerable and delivering a powerful underlying message to all. I cannot be happier for him and members of the Sani Welfare Foundation," The New Indian Express quoted Dr Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad as saying.
According to Republic World, the 41-year-old began his campaign in 2011 after seeing a sickly old hungry woman. Realising that there must be many like her, the Hyderabad resident started his hunger drive. He started the 'Hunger has no religion' initiative in his neighbourhood with his wife cooking food for the poverty-stricken for several months.
Expanding his initiative, he then began serving food to other South Indian cities. He also started the 'Do roti campaign', asking people to carry two chapatis extra when they step out of their homes and give them to the needy. During the Covid induced lockdown, he distributed food packets to people living in poverty and opened several distribution counters across Hyderabad to ensure no one sleeps empty stomach.
Grateful for the support of his family, friends and others, Maqsusi said that he would continue to carry out his services till he eradicates hunger from the society.
"I am thankful that the Almighty has chosen me to feed people. I have fed the poor for ten years now and will continue this until hunger is eradicated," Maqsusi said.
Azhar says he was poor himself when he started the initiative. He is still working from Hyderabad because he feels that hunger has surged after the lockdown.
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