A former police commissioner, an NRI businessman from London and the famed Dabbawalas joined hands on Saturday to “wage a fight against hunger” through the ‘Mumbai Roti Bank’ platform.
While IPS officer and former city police chief and Maharashtra DGP D Sivanandan has launched the non-profit initiative, UK-based businessman Nittin Khanapurkar has formed ‘MUrgency’, an emergency platform under the leadership of Mumbai Dabbawalas’ chief Subhash Talekar.
“The Mumbai Roti Bank will deploy GPS-tracked vans to collect excess food from restaurants, eateries, clubs, five-star hotels, events, public functions or marriages, besides households, and distribute them to poor, hungry and needy people,” said Talekar.
He said Mumbai’s Dabbawalas recently launched their own Roti Bank initiative through which they collected extra food from households or organisations and distributed among the poor. “At least 300 people benefit daily.”
Stressing the need for more public participation in this venture, which is being done by volunteers offering free service, Talekar said the Roti Bank concept would now be spread all over India in stages.
While Sivanandan has donated the first van for the project at Lower Parel station to kickstart the scheme, the Mumbai Roti Bank plans to roll out another three-four food vans shortly.
“People and organisations who have excess food to spare can call up a 24×7 helpline (No.9111891118/ www.rotibankindia.org) and provide the location from where the excess food has to be picked up. We will do the rest,” said Sivanandan.