BENGALURU: Isn’t it annoying when you join a particular social media group and keep getting forwards or messages that have absolutely nothing to do with the reason why you joined the group in the first place?
This, is something IT consultant Naresh Babu has made sure doesn’t happen with his social media group – Thindi Potharu – which is dedicated to all-things food, and food alone.
Naresh, who would hold corporate training sessions, says that he would find the food at these sessions and events monotonous and repetitive, and he’d find himself venturing out to the nearest eatery to try some local fare. A food lover himself, Naresh then started a WhatsApp group – earlier called ‘foodies’ – to connect people from all walks who love to eat and share their love for food.
“We decided to change the name of the group when we realised that almost everyone on the group is from Bengaluru and love the local cuisine here. That’s how Thindi Potharu, translating to people who live just for food, came into being,” he says. With 250 members, which was the limit on WhatsApp, Naresh realised that there were in fact many others who wanted to join the group, and that’s when the group Facebook page came into being, which has got 30,000 in just six months.
Recipes, online competitions, feeding the needy, are some of the activities this group holds. “When we started the WhatsApp group, we found that 60-70 per cent of the people on it were homemakers who’d share recipes, which was not engaging to our working and male members. So we encouraged them to post pictures and information from hotels and restaurants they have visited and liked,” says Naresh.
He adds that after the Facebook page came into being, restaurants have been approaching them to come review their food. “We’ve reviewed about 11-12 eateries in the last three months, and each place we’ve visited, we put up a poster reading, ‘Thindi Potharu was here’. Time, place and distance don’t matter - we’ll go anywhere for a good meal,” he says.
The latest initiative by this group, which they will be inaugurating over the weekend at a food festival - Thindi Potharu Habba - at Freedom Park, are food banks, or public fridges.
“The concept works just like a bank, where people and eateries can deposit the food, and it can be withdrawn by those who need it. Right now, we’re looking for people who can manage these fridges, and plan to install them at four-five locations. Freedom park will be the first one, followed by Basaveshwaranagar,” says Naresh, signing off.