Every morning 24-year-old Mohammad Sujathullah follows a ritual. Once up, he heads straight to a local hotel, gets 20 kgs of Rawa Upma cooked along with the chutney and then loads the containers onto a load carrier.
The food is the breakfast for almost 1,000 hungry people Sujathullah has been feeding since 2016 outside Hyderabad’s two prominent hospitals. Once finished, the student then eats his breakfast and leaves for college.
Thursday was the 554th day of his feeding-the-hungry initiative. He hasn’t missed a single day.
Passing the backlog
It all started with a thankful “gesture to God” for passing an examination.
“I had a backlog in one of my papers. I had decided to feed 10 hungry people if I successfully clear the backlog. It was my way of thanking Allah. I succeeded and then I fulfilled my promise,” Sujathullah, a 24-year-old student of pharmacy, tells InUth.
“But then, something happened,” he continues, “the experience of feeding the hungry changed me entirely. I felt at peace (Ek sukoon milgaya).”
It was 2016.
“I actually had no idea what to do. But then I looked up to my family and asked them for suggestions.”
He first used his pocket money to buy food. Then, he asked each earning member of his large joint family to contribute one day’s salary to prepare the food. Besides some irregular donations, Sujathullah’s family provides financial assistance to his endeavour.
Sujathullah started with feeding the hungry outside the Hyderabad’s Niloufer Hospital – one of the most visited hospitals in the city.
“I have only one criterion: humanity. I don’t ask anyone what’s their religion, caste, creed or belief. Every one gets food,” the student says.
That explains the name of Sujathullah’s NGO: Humanity First Foundation.
The work, Sujathullah says, has now become like a job for him. But there’s a slight difference though, there are no holidays. Yet, he doesn’t complain.
“It becomes hard at times because I don’t have regular volunteers to help me, but then there are lots of people who write to me on social media. Some of them have started similar initiatives in their cities. It feels good,” he adds.
But what if there’s no money?
“It hasn’t happened till now. There have been times when the finances were about to dry but I never failed for a single day,” Sujathullah says, unable to hide his optimism.
“I know the hungry will be waiting for me.”