This month I decided to give away leftover foods to homeless people. On my way to office I come across many beggars daily. I can almost remember all of their faces. I can’t tell if all of them are genuinely in need of food or not but I couldn’t manage to find a more suitable option to give away the leftover food. So this is my overall experience so far…
I ordered south Indian thali that day. It had generous amount of rice and rotis, 2 veg curries, dal, raita(curd), kheer(Indian dessert) and salad. As usual I could hardly finish half of the food. I made my mind to give it to the 1st beggar I would meet on the following day. It took a few minutes to pack the food properly before going to office. I met a mother and a son(probably) that day. As I handed over all the packets to the woman, the boy asked me to give him something too. I didn’t wait to see the woman’s response. Rest of my way I was wondering about the boy. I already have them so much of food. Why would he want more?
This was the next time I had some extra curry and rice. I didn’t see that woman and the boy anymore. I happened to give the food to an elderly person aged between 60 to 70. Whenever I pass by, I see him singing some song in some unknown language. As I handed over the boxes, his stretched his hand directing my way. A gesture to tell me, “get going”. I saw no trace of happiness or gratitude or anything on his face. “Did I do any good to him at all?”, I doubted.
I couldn’t follow the criteria that I followed on first 2 days, as on the 3rd day too I met the same elderly person at first. I shouldn’t be bothered or disappointed with him but I would appreciate even if a faint little smile. I needed a little bit of motivation to spend some extra time to pack those foods before office. A box of rice and mushroom curry- I managed to give it an old lady begging at the crossing. She kept it in a side bag, couldn’t comprehend her response. Honestly, I’m not asking for “thank you” but if I can see that I have made even one person happy, it will make my day. It also made me think that maybe they didn’t need food, they needed something else or hunger and hardships had taken away the smiles from their faces.
This wasn’t an intended one. I am on my to home. Rarely I bring tiffin box but when I bring, I keep extra portion for my colleagues. That day, nobody took from my box and I had still some rotis left. Eventually I gave that to an old woman. I didn’t wait to see her response.
I would have thrown those food away or forgot about it keeping in the fridge. In either way, it was still better to give it away. I shouldn’t think critically about how they respond at all.
Another home-delivery and I had so much of food left. It was a full meal for an adult. I happened to give it to the same old woman of day 3. As I was walking away, she addressed me and gave a smile. That’s all I wanted for so many days. I felt so happy on that day.
Suddenly, all the poor and homeless people seemed to vanish from that place. Previously the count was more than 5. On some days I didn’t come across anybody at all. So it got difficult for me to give away the leftovers. I had to give it in the evening on my way to home, fortunately the food was still in good condition. The old woman was begging near a food stall. People were eating and chitchatting outside the stall, the woman was staring at food stall. I see this kind of situation very often, sometimes I feel like buying some food for the poor. But I suppose a full meal would do better than some snacks or fancy food they were staring at.
I wish I could give him some clothes in stead of food. It’s winter now and he had only a small cloth to cover himself.
I am not a very geneous person, who would dedicate everything to serve humanity. When I am asked to donate for people half a world away from me, I think for some time and forget about it. I always considered that I was too small and insignificant to eradicate all the hardships of the people I see around me but even a little help and support is better than none. Most often we can’t relate others’ needs to ours or we don’t find the fund raising bodies trustworthy enough or we are just too busy with our own problems. One important thing that I realized during this is, if we really want to help the needy, it’s our responsibility to find the people who need it the most. Not everyone is genuine. If you want to spend some money or give away food/clothing/other staffs, make sure your help is reaching the right hands. Not everyone owns a kind and generous heart like you, don’t get it go in vain.
That’s all for today. Stay well folks. Much love xo