A bank for fighting hunger – Roti bank

Bank has emerged as a bad word in the field of finance in the recent past. However, in case of food adding bank to the word seems to add some respectability and mojo.

part from all these new banks which are coming up in the space of finance, we are also seeing  roti banks coming across the country – Aurangabad, Mumbai and Bundelkhand. Not sure whether each ahs different ways of functioning, The one in Aurangabad is like this proper bank.  It is an intermediary for rotis/food transferring rotis (chapatis) from surplus units to deficit units:

The roti bank has been launched by 38-year-old Yusuf Mukati at Jinsi-Baijipura Road here about a fortnight ago to serve food to the underprivileged. At the roti bank, people can ‘deposit’ rotis’ and the poor, aged, sick or the unemployed can ‘withdraw’ the food. The roti bank has been receiving tremendous response, Mukati said. “In the beginning only around 100 people took benefit, but today the number of beneficiaries has grown to 400 and the number of roti depositors to 250,” he said.

“The objective of starting the roti bank is to serve the poor people. A major part of the city’s population lives in slum areas and are dependent on daily wages. They can’t afford one square meal a day. The situation is pathetic in large families with just one breadwinner,” said Mukati, a graduate who also runs a garment shop, along with his construction business, for his livelihood.

The roti bank not only serves food to the needy but also has provided employment to 21 youths so far, he said “The depositors have to fill up a form for the roti bank’s membership. We allot them a specific code number. The request is simple — deliver us minimum two freshly cooked rotis and a plate of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food that they prepare for themselves daily,” said Mukati.
Optimistic of doubling the bank membership soon, Mukati is also planning to launch a ‘kapda bank’ by January 15 to serve clothes to the poor and the needy.
Interesting. After all these years of growth and development, roti, kapda and makaan still matters to most people. Makaan is obviously out of bounds for even most well-off people.
I am confident that such people driven initiatives will help fight hunger and poverty much better than govt driven ones. Based on lessons from these banks, we could allow such banks to emerge in other parts of the country as well…

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