BENGALURU: Surrounded by million dollar mansions on one side and the upscale city centre on the other, is Bengaluru’s largest slum near National Games Village, Koramangala.
This slum dwellers deal problems of poor hygiene and sanitation, lack of drinking water, incosistent power supply and hunger here. Over one lakh people live in these slums, coexisting with animals and battling diseases.
However, a few hundreds who live here don’t have to worry about sleeping on an empty stomach thanks to an endeavour that supplies left over cafetaria food for free.
A few kilometres away are coporate houses with cafetarias that serve rotis, rice, curry, salad and dessert. Every day, following lunch, a lot of food is collected as leftovers by these cafetarias. These are perishable food that won’t survive longer.
Volunteers of Swabhiman Trust, run by Venkatraman Iyer collects this food and ensures that it feeds around 600 people in the slum every night, except on Sundays. Two cafetarias — one at Intuit, RMZ Ecospace IT park and another at Amadeus, JP Morgan IT park — donate their leftovers.
This food distribution programme by the 61-year-old post graduate in biology and chemistry mainly focuses on senior citizens, women and children.
For the past one year the group has been collecting this leftover food after lunch, and distributing it the same day in the slum.
Swabhimaan is a registered charitable trust and has been working in the slums since 2000.They run clinics where consultation and medicine comes at an all-inclusive price of `10, provide English teachers to government schools and also run a large institutional scholarship where they fund 200 students’ education.
They run a large micro-finance activity for women entrepreneurs at a zero interest rate.
The trust also teaches women in this slum to stitch jute and paper bags to earn a living.
The trust offers `500 worth groceries to 500 families every month through its ration card.