When it comes to the issues of hunger, malnutrition, starvation, and food waste, there are intricate, disheartening disparities that one can observe if one looks closely. Food, shelter, and clothing are considered basic necessities, as has often been emphasized in the wildly beaten phrase of “roti, kapda aur makaan.

These three are pre-requisites for something as basic as survival, let alone a healthy life. But sadly, while on one hand people are starving for a loaf of bread, there are others who are filling their plates and then throwing away the extra food at parties.

Sabhyata Badhwar

To put things in perspective, let us refer to the hard-hitting facts compiled by Youth Ki Awaaz earlier last year. India itself is home to the largest number of under-nourished and hungry population, with 195 million people going hungry every day. This hurts, especially when there is enough food to feed everyone in the world.

If the food distribution were equal, there would be plenty for everyone, with some to spare. In fact, the world produces 10% more food than is needed to feed everyone. But 30% to 50% of 1.2-2 billion tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it to a plate, and gets wasted.

In the background of these heart-breaking statistics, MASH Project and the Spoon University – Delhi chapter have joined hands and taken the forefront with the initiative of the Ann Daan Campign, which is part of the larger initiative at the organisation— Daan Utsav at MASH Project.

With the problems at hand, here’s not only everything you need to know about this initiative, but also how you in your individual capacity can contribute to it.

1. Social Networking

Photo courtesy of the MASH Project

As a part of nationwide celebrations of Daan Utsav '16, previously referred to as the Joy of Giving Week, the Ann Daan campaign will aim to mobilize people through the power of the social network throughout the week. It is a pan-India initiative with the objective of ensuring that when a someone in need is fed by individual participants, we with our social coverage recognize their good deed and encourage others to do the same with their picture/selfie.

2. Bringing Attention to the Issue

Sabhyata Badhwar

One major hurdle in the cause of food waste, hunger and, starvation is that this issue does not happen to be glamorous enough. While other social causes are championed by donors, volunteers and social workers alike, it is surprising that the issue of hunger hasn’t received the attention with the kind of immediacy that it deserves.

If you have had trouble sleeping while hungry, think of the 195 million people who face this hunger with no choice. Here’s an opportunity for you to make a difference with us, make not the issue but the solution glamorous. By asking you to feed the needy and uploading a picture, let's take the glamour quotient involved in supporting this cause to a higher notch.

The campaign revolves around the idea of feeding someone who needs that piece of bread more than you do. Post a selfie/picture with them on Facebook with the tags #DaanUtsav #AnnDaan #MashProject.

3. The Cost of Helping 

Sabhyata Badhwar

It costs just $0.25 (INR 16) per day to provide a child all the vitamins and nutrients he/she requires to grow healthy. For us who spend more than that on phone calls per day and care less for leftovers, this should be the moment of epiphany to make some amends in the way our counterparts have been living, and seek redemption for our lackadaisical attitude towards food, which as it turns out is no less than a privilege granted to them.

4. Daan Utsav

Sabhyata Badhwar

Daan Utsav is a festival, much like Diwali, Id, or Christmas but with no religious affiliations. It is not an NGO or organization, and is not owned or controlled by anyone. A group of 100+ volunteers and champions across India promote the festival and millions participate.

While it raises crores of rupees and millions of volunteer hours, what truly matters is the number of people who with their heart, touched by the initiative, personally experience the true joy in giving with their real time participation. This is your chance to experience the pure, unadulterated joy of giving selflessly, which lies deep-rooted even in the diversities of Indian culture.

5. Why Your Help Matters

Sabhyata Badhwar

We at MASH Project and Spoon University, strongly believe in the power of social media and networking, and so when you post your picture of doing a good deed, you are helping by bringing attention to the issue. Not only do you get to directly contribute by gifting someone the best meal they might have had in a while, but also by bringing the much needed recognition to the issue and triggering action from the others who could get inspired through your step towards true joy of giving.

To inspire others with your selfies/picture and land a chance to win vouchers too, join us in this initiative here