In honor of Hard Rock’s IMAGINE THERE’S NO HUNGER CAMPAIGN, the HRC Mumbai Ambassador club collected nonperishable food donations from vendors to be distributed to their local community. This Monday, my camera and I tagged along with a team of Hard Rock Ambassador stacked with packets of rice, dhal, milk and juice in hopes to assist in the fight against hunger around the café’s community. We excitedly dashed straight for the footpath just opposite the gates of Bombay Dyeing Mill full of ratty, plastic tarps strategically placed to avoid deep cracks in the cement. These inadequate shelters are what too many families on the streets of Mumbai call home. While weaving in and out of clusters of hungry eyes and prodding hands, the Ambassadors handed over the packets with compassion and care to individuals who may not have known when their next meal would be and where it would come from.
To my own shock and surprise, I have found out beggars can be chooser. Women and children followed our group, pulled on our sleeves, and requested dhal instead of the other food sources they were given. There was no offer to return their rice or drinks, but only demands to be given the expensive dhal as well.
A slight bit of chaos and many smiles later, the team headed off to a nearby bridge to distribute the rest of the food packets to the overjoyed faces that had made the damp and dirty overpass a place to rest their malnourished bodies.
This was where I encountered little boys with smiles that could warm even the coldest of hearts and a young girl with a red stained mouth from chewing paan. I wish I could say the warming smiles were the images that still play in my mind, but even writing this today I cannot shake the urge to wash this innocent child’s mouth out and replace the disgusting, harmful paan with substantial food and healthy habits.
Sadly there will be far more children in our community that go hungry tonight than tucked into bed with bellies full of food. With the help of more giving hearts like the ones who surrounded me today, we can continue the fight against hunger one grain of rice at a time.
Supporting WhyHunger, Hard Rock’s IMAGINE THERE’S NO HUNGER campaign fights to end childhood hunger and poverty, helping those who need it most by supporting sustainable grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.
Proceeds from the campaign will be donated directly to WhyHunger to benefit local grassroots partners, including the Pathfinder Academy in Kenya; the Pattanarak Foundation in Thailand; City of Joy in India; and MPP in Haiti. Each grassroots partner focuses on victims of poverty and helps teach sustainable farming and entrepreneurial skills for the future.