when I stepped on-field, I responded with my camera - I wanted to speak and document the people who had started their journey back home on foot. Most times I didn’t have the heart to continue to shoot; when they started to share their stories.....
” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” people from all walks of life, came together and contributed — joined hands to build Khaana Chahiye into a people’s movement it is today.
I remember receiving a call from Ruben when the nationwide stay at home order was imposed, since then there’s been no looking back. We were aware that the problem of hunger exists - the pandemic would just amplify it; and we also knew it was going to hit the vulnerable communities greater - given the informal sector had come to a grinding halt.
With my academic background in political science, I’ve studied polity and policies, poverty and hunger.
Our relief work, was an up-close case study, that I did not anticipate. Having an understanding of the subject, it easier to understand where the fault lines lie and what better than being able to work towards a collective solution to mitigate it.
when I stepped on-field, I responded with my camera - I wanted to speak and document the people who had started their journey back home on foot. Most times I didn’t have the heart to continue to shoot; when they started to share their stories.
I could not have sat on the side-lines, as citizens it was our duty to step up when people and the city needed us. I am grateful to Khaana Chahiye for giving me a platform to contribute beyond my means - to show me first-hand the difference between duty and charity - and show me how much strength we as people possess when we come together, that one radical act of kindness ripples into a wave — and for reinstating my faith in humanity.
At Khaana Chahiye, I do a little bit of everything - digital, ground work, partnerships, fundraising and reports.
In this last year and a half, we’ve been exposed to the vast social sector of Mumbai, the aid we are providing is temporary — it’s relief aid at the end of the day. We wanted to support our beneficiaries to build long term and sustainable solutions - we wanted grassroot organisations and communities to be part of this solution — which is when we started our community kitchen vertical; our pilot kitchen at Kurla empowered women from the community to step up! My visits to the kitchens are not complete without tasting what the women have prepared for the days distribution. We have 3 kitchens active and they all a special place in my heart!
The other day, Hameeda bhabhi, who oversees our Kurla Community kitchen was invited as guest of honour and she narrated her story - I was so proud to see her share her ups & downs and inspire young girls and women.
Mumbai never disappoints! People from all walks of life, came together and contributed — joined hands to build khaana chahiye into a people’s movement. And I am glad to contribute beyond my means and work with insanely inspiring folks and add one brick to the institution Khaana Chahiye is building.
Interviewed By Bhavna Patel.