One idea can feed thousands of people

R B Shivakumar collects surplus food from kalyana mantapas and distributes it to lower income families of Rajajinagar.

R B Shivakumar, 36, a resident of Rajajinagar has been collecting surplus vegetarian foods from social and private functions in and around his residence for the past three years and distributing it to around 150 low income families in his locality. He employs six people to assist him.

On May 22nd, Shivakumar says he distributed lunch to more than 20,000 people. The food was collected from five different kalyana mantapas located in and around Rajajinagar. And the food was distributed to slum dwellers of Gopalpura and Chamundi Nagar. Babu, one of the recipient from Chamundi Nagar says, “It is a good idea, here all the families are happy about it.”

Shivakumar gets calls from Whitefield, Jayanagar, JP Nagar and other parts of Bangalore to pick up left over food. Late May, he got a call from somebody in Koramangala saying that rain stopped people from attending a large function, and food meant for a 1000 people was going waste. Unfortunately he could not pick up the food for lack of resources. “I want some youth to come forward,” he says, asking for volunteers to take up this task in different areas.

Chikkamma Ramaiah Kalyana Mantapa is one of those mantapas from which Shivakumar regularly collects surplus food. Kemparaj, the owner, says, “Earlier we were worried about throwing food in the garbage, but now Shivakumar is doing a great job and I support him.”

Kumar has been involved in the banana leaf business for the past 15 years. He says that one common thing he observed when he went to deliver banana leaves to kalyana mantapas is that there is always a surplus amount of food that makes way to BBMP garbage trucks. On the other hand, he saw families in his neighbourhood struggling daily to get a square meal.

Shivakumar can be reached at 9844358514

Kumar invested Rs 20 thousand for this service. Kumar’s father, R V Badraiah is also a social worker. His family is very happy about his idea and he says, “With out my family support I can’t do any thing".

Kumar recently started a programme called “Asare Loka". Text books and bus pass are distributed free of cost to children of lower income families. He also unsuccessfully contested for the recently held BBMP elections.   ⊕


  1. Pramod Naik says:

    Great article. Thanks. People like Kumar deserve a Bharat Ratna, not some aging and decrepit Gandhi familly sycophant. May more people like Kumar multiply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Domestic violence in resettlement areas: Community workers bear the burden

Community workers, who are the first respondents to attend domestic violence cases in Chennai's resettlement areas, face innumerable challenges

As Priya* woke up at 5:30 am, she took the final sip of her coffee and was about to begin her morning prayers when she received a call from an unknown number. A few years ago, she wouldn't have bothered to answer. But now, as a community worker in a resettlement site, calls from unfamiliar numbers have become a routine part of her daily life. A woman could be heard crying at the other end. Priya asked her to calm down and speak clearly. The woman informed her that her husband was beating her up and had locked her inside…

Similar Story

Addressing pet dog attacks: A balance between regulation and compassion

Government intervention is necessary to prevent indiscriminate breeding and trade of pet dogs, and more shelters are needed for abandoned pets.

Recently, two pet Rottweiler dogs attacked a five-year-old child and her mother in a  Corporation park in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Based on a complaint following the incident, police arrested the owners of the dog for negligence and endangering the lives of others (IPC Section 289 and 336). As General Manager-Administration of the Blue Cross of India, I have seen several Rottweilers over the years. While there are laws to address such situations, there needs to be adequate awareness among pet owners that dogs like Rottweilers should be taken for a walk only on a leash. A major portion of the responsibility…