HYDERABAD: Every morning a large number of people wait for 26-year-old Mohammed Sujathullah outside three major hospitals in the city -- Niloufer, Koti, and NIMS hospital. As soon as he is seen arriving on his bike, scores of them line up in neat rows.
Every man, woman, and child wait patiently for their turn to get a hot bowl of Rawa Upma and chutney. A resident of Musheerabad, Sujathullah, is hailed as the ‘foodman’ of the city, who has made it his life’s mission to reach out to the people and provide them free food every day.
In the last 1,110 days, Sujathulla has not missed out on a single day of serving breakfast to over 1,000 people in the city.
From inclement weather to a paucity of funds, many obstacles come in his way but Sujathulla is a persevering man.
“Hunger has no holiday, and for someone who can’t afford a meal a day, my one day holiday will mean a lot. Which is why for the last many years I did not take a single day of leave,” said Sujathullah, who has recently completed his post-graduation in pharmacy and is preparing for his PhD.
Many from his community wanted him to only serve Muslims and especially those from his caste. “But I told them that hunger has no religion.
"Others told me to do this work after I grow older. I told them I don’t know if I will even be alive till then. And I cannot wait to serve the hungry until I retire.”
What started with a simple vow to feed 10 people every day, if he passed his college exam, has become Sujathullah’s passion today.
“While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in 2014, I was giving a supplementary exam for a subject. At that time I made a vow that if I passed, I would feed 10 people. Following my good results, I picked up 10 food packets from a nearby hotel and the journey began,” he told Express.
Son of a retired government teacher and a housemaker, Sujathullah first reached out to his family. “I asked them if they could donate one day of their month’s expenses. Fortunately, I got a good response,” he says.
“Because of my studies I could not continue serving food during the night. So I decided to serve breakfast.”
Sujathullah’s morning routine begins at 7 am, he then picks up 25 kg of Upma from the Gharana Food Court, a restaurant in Padma Rao Nagar, meets Liquayath, who picks up the food in his auto-rickshaw.
The duo reach Koti Hospital by 8 am, followed by Niloufer hospital at 8:30 and at NIMS, Punjagutta at 9 am. The per-day distribution costs are around Rs 5,000, including transportation and cutlery charges. Every month, this endeavour costs around Rs 1.5 lakh.
“This is a 100 per cent charitable endeavour, which runs on crowdfunding,” he informed.