Indian recognised by UN for working towards hunger problems
Kawatra, who left his corporate job to start 'Feeding India', is among the 17 people selected for the inaugural class of UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals for his initiative.
The young leaders were selected by the UN from more than 18,000 nominations from 186 countries. "I worked in a global business advisory firm for two years. One day, I went to a celebrity wedding where there were around 10,000 people invited for the wedding and more than 35 cuisines were laid for them.
"I decided to stay back to see what happened with the food. To my shock and despair, heaps of leftover food was thrown straight into the bin which could have fed 5000 people just that single night," Kawatra told PTI. This led him to establish his own NGO Feeding India, which now claims to have fed 1 million meals with a network of 2,000 volunteers across 28 cities of India. They work towards solving hunger and malnutrition in India by redistributing excess food from weddings, corporate, canteens, banquets and households.
As part of the initiative, Kawatra has undertaken several projects in the past two years. These include 'The Magic Truck', a 24X7 refrigerated vehicle moving around the city collecting and donating excess food. "We have adopted many donation centers, self-run schools and shelter homes for children, elderly and specially-abled. We provide them with nutritious and well balanced meals," Kawatra said.
Other efforts include the 'Hyperlocal donation drives' which encourage the masses to come out and participate. He has roped in famous faces in the food community to spread awareness about the initiative.
"We have encouraged people from the food community to come together and spread awareness about this initiative. Celebrity chefs (Chef Ritu Dalmia, Chef Manjit Gill), TV Hosts (Mayur Sharma, highway on my plate), food bloggers, restaurateurs are among those who have talked about the initiative."