“What good is power and money if you can’t help the less privileged around you? One does not need to look too far… if each one of us could help the person next to us, it is enough to create a ripple effect that will help spread happiness around the world!”
This is what Dr. Rajesh Gadia, Managing Director HiDoc Dr. believes in. And this is exactly the vision behind the company’s latest campaign Muskaan – Spreading smiles through happy bellies. The initiative aims to counter malnutrition amongst people belonging to socioeconomically challenging backgrounds by providing them healthy nutritious meals.
Being in the medical field for many years, Dr. Rajesh realizes the value of nutrition in the overall well-being of people, especially in the case of patients who are fighting or recovering from illness.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization’s estimates in The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020 report, 189.2 million people are undernourished in India. This constitutes roughly 14% of the entire population. Also, 51.4% of women between 15 and 49 years of age are anemic and an alarming 34.7% of children under 5 years of age are stunted and malnourished.
The last two years have been worse with more people suffering due to the Corona pandemic. Food is the basic necessity of any human. And for anyone to be denied this fundamental need after millions of years of evolution is nothing but shameful… the blackest blot on humanity.
Dr. Rajesh and his team distribute nourishing lunch boxes every Saturday to lesser privileged men, women, and children in their office vicinity and at various hospitals across Pune. The box includes a balanced meal of chapatis, curry, rice, salad, and a sweet.
“We try to make a little change, whatever we can, in the lives of the people around us. However, while doing so, something changes inside us too,” explains Sridevi Angadi, an employee of HiDoc who actively participates in these food drives. She remembers how once she handed a food box to an old lady who couldn’t even walk without the support of a humble stick. “She just looked at me, raised her trembling hand, and placed it on my head, blessing me. I can’t tell you how surreal it felt”.
Aftab Khan, another associate, adds “There are very few experiences in life which make a person value how fortunate, blessed and lucky they are. Our previous visit to the KEM hospital was one of them. People who were under tremendous stress and fear felt a sense of relief when we asked them if they had their lunch. A mother who hadn’t left her child out of sight all night to even eat a single meal was one of the many families we could help that day. The joy these food packets bring them is immense and that sight fills our hearts with inspiration and gratitude”.
Team Muskaan has successfully served over 125 individuals in less than a month and aims at feeding at least 200 people every month. And as is it with every good cause, many have stepped forward to help through donations or by volunteering their services. “When people came to know about this initiative, they approached me asking how they could help. And I told them, however, they want to! The more the merrier” smiles Dr. Rajesh. Currently, mission Muskaan has been adopted by 40 HiDoc associates, 30 HiDoc Advisory Board Members, and 5 individuals.
As Mother Teressa once said – Never worry about the numbers. Feed one person at a time. And always start with the person nearest you.
Team HiDoc is a living example of this quote. We wish them all the luck in spreading more Muskaans through happy bellies.
Do visit https://hidoc.co/muskaan.html for more details about the campaign, and how to donate or volunteer in this noble cause.