Monday, November 28, 2011


Hunger is a phenomenon that knows no color or creed but can be satiated only if one has the buying power to purchase the required quantity and quality of food necessary for survival. It is also a fact that only those who have experienced the pangs of hunger due to many reasons, know the pains caused by lack of foods when needed. There are thousands of charitable organizations spread across this world engaged in helping the poor and the downtrodden to survive with donations in the form of money as well as in kind. World Hunger Program is based on donated foods and financial grants received from governmental and non-governmental organizations and millions of beneficiaries are helped to keep their hunger away at least for some time. It is a rare instance for an individual to be imbibed with a sense of charity and spend limited personal fortunes on feeding needy people. Here is an instance in the US where a humanitarian entrepreneur provides free dinner to 250 homeless people every Sunday, spending from his own pocket supplemented with donations. 

Mr. Nepali, 51, was raised in an orphanage in Katmandu. He came to the United States for college, becoming an accountant, a controller and a restaurateur. He put aside part of his profits at Taste of the Himalayas, a Nepalese restaurant in San Francisco, to get Curry Without Worry off the ground. "For a man from Nepal to see hungry people in this beautiful world-class city is difficult to see," Mr. Nepali said. He sold the restaurant three years ago and now lives on proceeds from cooking and music lessons, and Nepal tours. "I realized having a traditional business was not how I wanted to live my life," he said. "My karma was to serve unfortunate people." Mr. Nepali built an orphanage in Katmandu and last year started a Curry Without Worry there. "You feel blessed to be in his presence," said Fiona Ma, speaker pro tem of the California Assembly and a former San Francisco supervisor. Mr. Nepali's desire to help people, she said, "is very contagious." Five years ago, Ms. Ma became Curry Without Worry's treasurer. Curry Without Worry serves about 250 people in San Francisco weekly. It buys much of its food from farmers' markets and food banks; everything is fresh and vegan. Its annual $20,000 budget comes from donations.

The efforts of Mr Nepali not only help the poor people to get a fill of their stomachs at least once in a week with quality and nutritious food but also help to spread the message about the virtues of vegetarian foods of Asian origin. Of course the larger question is whether a single meal once in a week is really effective in counteracting perennial hunger that is being faced by millions of people and how come there are Americans who suffer from hunger while large quantities of food is being wasted day in and day out in that country? This reflects the hard reality that no country, however rich it may be, is immune to food deprivation at least for some citizens and only the percentage of people suffering from hunger may vary from country to country. Equitable wealth distribution is only an Utopian dream unlikely to be translated into reality! World over the gap between the rich and the poor is widening day by day and this is also a bitter truth that must shame the collective conscience of the world. 


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