They buy food, cook it and sell it on the street. Sounds like every other food vendors? But the difference lies in who are their target customers, the price of their menu and what do they earn as profit.
The underprivileged street children, beggars, aged people and physically and mentally challenged people roving around streets or stations are their customers. This underprivileged, downtrodden class of the society buy the food from them that cost them nothing more than just one taka.
We are talking about a flagship project of Bidyanondo, titled ‘Ek Takay Ahar’. The project aims at diverting the kids from street to school by providing secured food in lowest price. Bidyanondo is a voluntary organization that provides deprived students with educational facilities.
A group of youthful volunteers and the executives are the vital force that executes the project. The project started when a few expatriates and established service holders felt an urge to serve the forgotten and downtrodden people of the society and came up with the idea in the year 2016. The funding is based on some philanthropic hearts' contributions. However, they have options open to those who want to help through money, ingredients for the food, or extending a hand of help as a volunteer.
The "Ek Takay Ahar' project currently has nine branches, throughout the country including the main branch in Elephant Road, Dhaka. A part of the project is now being run in Peru as well, alongside the eight cities in Bangladesh.
On May 15, 2016, the first event of the project took place in Chittagong. Just three days later, on May 18, 2016, they sold the food to 100 children and on May 27, 2016, it outreached to 500 kids! Ever since then, they continued with their project and at present, they successfully sell 1000 packets of meal in 8 districts of Bangladesh.
Even during this Ramadan, this enthusiastic group of volunteers ranging from youngsters, home-makers, marine engineer, and service holder to a team leader of a corporate company is cooking, packaging and selling Iftar and Shehri to these people. They targeted to reach out to as many as three thousand people for Iftar. However, the trend of price hike during Ramadan has caused them to bring down their regular target for Shehri to 200 people, but they still are gritty enough to hold on to what they believe and what they work for.
While one-half of the society is ignorant about the other half, a project like this is an eye opener, building a bridge between those who are in need of the help, and who wants to help. If you are looking for a way to extend your hand to contribute, or want to know more about their objective, upcoming events, and related affairs, you can always reach them through their Facebook page under the name same as their project.