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‘Rolling out Food Banks: Being the change’ Essay by 13 year old Saanvi Agarwal from Kolkata

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Bookosmia Spotlight

Saanvi Agarwal

Hi there people, Sara here. This account by 13 year old Saanvi Agarwal from Kolkata,  of how she invested her time and energy to take action, is the most inspiring piece I have read recently. Come on young minds, lets follow suit and be the change we want to see.

 

Saanvi Agarwal is a student of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata.

‘Rolling out Food Banks: Being the change’ Essay by 13 year old Saanvi Agarwal from Kolkata

Poverty is something which is there all over the world, in some form or the  other. In India, this is a quandary. People have to sleep on streets with cold air  blowing all over, and they are famished too.

Would you like to live in a country where on one hand, people sleep with empty stomachs and on the other hand, thousands are spent on food, which is getting wasted?

 

Or you could live in a country where at least you don’t have to see people,  dying out of hunger.

 

The choice is up to you. You could make a decision.

I made a decision, and helped the society. I believed in Mahatma’s saying “Be the change you want to see in the world”. And followed my dream. Each day I crossed the market as we went for a walk. I used to see people sleeping under  small baskets, cramped up and clutching their stomachs, as if they had not  eaten for days. Seeing this compelled me to do something.

 

One day, I was invited to this launch of a game. As I proceeded to the food counter, I was shocked to see that the bins were full of food instead of  plates. And that was the moment where I decided that I had to do something. Coding  helped me a lot through this journey of mine. I decided to develop an app  where people can give away food, but executing that app was a lot tougher  than I thought.

 

For that, I asked my dad to help. He said he could get food banks built. That would take six months. But I agreed willingly as the time would help me  advertise about the app. I decided that if we actually got large number of  people who agreed to download that app, we could hold an app launch. But  that was all later.

So this is how it finally worked, people who want to give away food may login to the app and state what food and amount is being given away. Basis that, the app would give one special barcode. When you show the barcode to the food  bank and let it get scanned, it opens up and takes in the food.

 

People who needed food were informed. Many people wanted to also help in the app work. We decided that three people who volunteer each day on the  app itself, will deliver the food to the households.

As I decided to advertise, I talked to my best friend, whose dad worked in an  advertising company. He was looking for a goodwill advertisement and I  proposed mine. He was more than welcome to do it. Everything was running smoothly, until one day my mother came home and said that for the paper signing to get it done, we would have to meet an important bureaucrat. I felt he did not believe in social work, but he was interested in the money. The person in question said that we could settle this over the phone too, and it looked as if he wasn’t interested in my project.

We tried to settle but he wouldn’t budge. He asked who will repair the systems  and who will give the money. That seemed all he thought about. Then my dad  jumped in to clarify that it was a personal project and just the signatures were to e done, for official and legality matters. To that the approving authority had not a single issue.

Just a week before the release, there was a message that there were thousands of people who would download the app, and they were all over the  city. So we decided to have an online launch, and everything was settled.  Each day for each locality, there were more than 7 people on an average who  volunteered to work and more than 500 packs of food delivered.

 

I was happy and honoured as I could follow Mahatma’s principles.

 

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