“Any act of kindness, no matter how small, is never wasted” – Aesop
At Roti Bank, we firmly believe in these words of wisdom and hence constantly attempt to identify or create opportunities to fulfil our purpose of hunger elimination.
One such meaningful opportunity came by on 15th Nov. 2018. It was World Kindness Day, and we partnered with Kindness Unlimited to serve 20,000 meals in Mumbai. During this event, meals were served in all the slum schools of Dharavi, Mankhurd, Cheeta Camp, Malad, Vasai and Thane and in many destitute homes across the city. To make this event a success, Humans of Bombay, a popular online platform for humanitarian stories, agreed to raise donations via crowdfunding.
‘The 20K Meal Marathon’ idea came about during a brainstorming session between Ms. Nirmala Mehendale from Kindness Unlimited and Roti Bank Founder, Mr. D. Sivanandhan. Mr. D. Sivanandhan has built many schools, public gyms and facilities as the Commissioner of Police and is now on a mission to curb hunger through Roti Bank with his young brigade of volunteers. Kindness Unlimited has worked towards inspiring individuals and communities with the power of kindness.
Mr. D. Sivanandhan quoted, “Hunger is the world’s largest solvable problem and we, at Roti Bank, Mumbai, don’t want to just serve food but serve it with a smile. A lot of people do service to humanity but a touch of kindness makes the beneficiaries remember the good done to them and encourages them to pay it forward. Today’s youth is very proactive and we wanted to create an event that they could relate to. Hence ‘The 20K Meal Marathon’ idea was sealed, owing to the very popular marathon culture.” Ms. Nirmala Mehendale added, “Kindness is contagious and once we balance self-interest with that of others, the real magic happens.”
The 20K Meal Marathon was the first-of-its-kind in Mumbai in terms of its reach and impact. Ms. Shriya Kumar, a banker with a leading MNC, who leads Strategy and Operations at Roti Bank, said, “Events of such magnitude need careful planning and execution. The wheels start rolling weeks before and detailed coordination and strategy are imperative. Through the campaign and our social media reach, we have brought together many volunteers who helped us with the distribution, making this a movement truly by the people and for the people.”