While Robin Hood was famous and loved for taking money from the rich and giving to the poor, Issa Fathima Jasmine collects wasted, excess or leftover food from different sources and gives it to the millions of poor and starving souls in our society. She does this through her immensely credible – Project Ayyamittu Unn, the aim of which is to eradicate hunger in India and prevent food wastage.
While the extravagant in India thoughtlessly waste tons of food during fancy birthday and wedding dinners, whether at home or at the best restaurants, over 20 million people go to bed every day without dinner. Issa and her Project Ayyamittu Unn aim to put an end to that.
A Savior to The Starving is Born
Issa, born and brought up in Chennai, was a consultant orthodontist and an ex-assistant professor in a private dental college before she started her admirable social services. Her project smartly streamlines food that is being wasted from restaurants, wedding halls, and houses and brings it to the public by placing refrigerators in their communities. People and food businesses can leave spare, edible food in the fridges and people who need food can take the same.
‘The Giver of Food Is the Giver of Life’ – this is the sole purpose behind this soulful project. Why let millions go starving when there is so much of wasted, excess food? Issa knew she wanted to be a social entrepreneur when she realized that millions of people go without a meal while food gets wasted elsewhere. The food wastage levels in our country are beyond shocking and a real eye-opener.
The motivation to remove hunger is the driving factor.”
Coming from middle and upper-class families where scarcity of food was unheard of, didn’t mean turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the lesser privileged, and this was Issa’s driving force. Shocking statistics have revealed that more people in India have died in the last 2 years from hunger than Aids, malaria, and terrorism put together. A deplorable state of affairs for a so-called “developing” nation. And Issa is making a difference – one meal at a time.
If we do not wake up now, we could kill more lives, due to the disease of hunger.”
Solving the hunger problem in our country isn’t hard math. Issa is tackling the problem from the production and consumption side by installing public community refrigerators through which excess food can be redistributed to the poor thereby protecting future generations from facing hunger issues. It’s that simple!
The Backing Behind the Bread Giver
Luckily for Issa, she always had the support of her family, more so the backing of her dad, in spite of her starting her project without telling him. Even though he wanted her to open an orthodontic clinic of her own, he was more than happy when he came know of Issa’s commendable social services. Her dad is now rooting for her to start more projects on similar lines. Issa’s incredible family support is evident in her social work.
Current Challenges and Future Projects
Issa has been getting a lot of offers post her current project, but she plans on taking it slow. Sustaining any new project takes time, effort and skills. Issa has someone to check whether the refrigerators are well stocked as well as someone to liaison with halls and restaurants. She has many volunteers working for her too. However, if she finds the right people and the right project, she wouldn’t mind starting new projects in multiple areas.
Issa’s project also accepts public sponsors and funding. She uses the funds to buy and distribute food to the needy. You provide her space and electricity and she’ll provide working refrigerators.
One Small Step for A Community, One Giant Leap for A Nation
Issa says not to blame our current, prevailing system but to contribute in any way you can. Any kind of social work counts. Small contributions yield great changes.
Only ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Always remember we all have a page in history.”
Making history is easy, it’s what we do and how we do it that counts. Do something that leaves an impact on society. Don’t let age stand in your way; time waits for no one. All you need is perseverance, hard work, and devotion. Live today like it’s your last. Looks like we could all learn a thing or two from Issa’s bold attitude towards life and her admirable contributions towards helping the poverty-stricken of our country.