Azhar Maqsusi has been distributing free food under a flyover in Hyderabad, every single day for the last five years. And now, the 37-year-old wants to inspire more people to feed the hungry with his ‘Do Roti’ campaign.
Under this campaign, Azhar is asking anyone who wants to help to carry two rotis while they go out and give it to any needy person.
“Everybody wants to help poor people, but when they think about the huge amount of money one has to spend for a cause, many of them fail to come forward. With ‘Do Roti’ campaign, anybody can help a poor person,” Azhar says.
“You just have to carry two extra chapatis while you go for your work. If you see a poor person in need of food just give those extra chapatis to them,” he adds.
No one to make empty utterances, Azhar is leading by example to make the campaign a success. On Monday, the first day of the campaign, he distributed rotis to nearly 150 people in Hyderabad.
Azhar has been running a free food camp for the poor under the Chanchalguda flyover and Secunderabad Gandhi Hospital for one hour everyday for several years now.
“Next month will mark five years since I started the free-food camp,” he says.
No stranger to adversity, Azhar’s generosity stems from the hardship he faced early on in life. “I was four years old when my father died, I have seen my mother struggling to raise me and my siblings. On many nights, I have slept on an empty stomach as a child. When I see hungry people who cannot even afford food, I can relate,” Azhar explains.
Five years ago, he went to the Dabirpura Railway Station one afternoon, and there he saw a woman sitting outside the station, begging for food.
“I still remember her name. Lakshmi was disabled. She told me that she hadn’t eaten in two days. I gave her food. And from the next day onwards, I started the free-food camp. Every day more than 350 people come there for food,” he says.
With the ‘Do Roti’ campaign, Azhar hopes that no poor person would go to sleep hungry anywhere in the country. While other people celebrate Valentine's day, Children’s day etc, Azhar wants to celebrate ‘no hunger day’ for rest of his life, where poor people in the country never have to struggle for food.
According to Azhar, more than 15,000 people have distributed rotis under this campaign to poor people across the country.
In fact, some of his friends abroad have also joined in to help make the campaign a success. “Many people who work abroad don’t have enough food as they have to send most of the money they earn back home. My friends in Dubai distributed food to their colleagues who are facing similar issues,” Azhar says.
“When I gave two rotis to a 75-year-old woman who sitting in the corner of the road she kept her hand on my head. I did not understand what she said, but I think she gave me her blessings. That’s all I need,” he says.