As one of the world’s most populated nations, India has many poor children. Some don’t get enough to eat, nor attend school.
Yet in this giant nation, Darshan is one of the people making an important difference and it began so simply.
(Story continues from "Read More")
In a restaurant in the city of Vadodara, 31-year-old Darshan had a disappointing meal.
After emailing the restaurant management, he received an apology and the offer of a free meal.
But Darshan instead asked the restaurant to feed some poor children. Not only did the restaurant do that, they sent Darshan pictures of those grateful children.
That was the beginning of what Darshan and his friends named BhookMitao, a movement to feed poor children, which began on June 7th, 2015 by feeding two children in a Vadodara slum.
Two children soon turned into many more, and now each Sunday, BhookMitao feeds lunch to as many as 1200 Vadodara children.
By making effective use of social media to organize a volunteer network, that spans 10 primarily slum areas of Vadodara.
Through social media, BhookMitao also solicits food donations, which the volunteer network then prepares in their homes, and takes to the children.
And the movement is spreading. That network has now begun its own social media expansion, starting to reach five more Indian cities, including Mumbai.
"The response has truly been overwhelming," Darshan told The Better India.
"A big part of the credit goes to the social media. Every day we have people writing in asking how they can contribute or volunteer."
In addition to feeding the children, the volunteers encourage the parents to send their children to school.
"Our vision is to ensure that at least 150 children are sent to school in Vadodara by the end of 2016," said Darshan.
"My mantra in life is ISR: Individual Social Responsibility."
"Instead of waiting for governments or other organizations to bring about a change, every individual needs to start doing something on his/her own. This is what will actually usher in change."