Last week, we decided to spend the day at a Resort on Hosur Road. It was a sort of advance father’s day celebration for my Dad. The place is a sylvan paradise, away from the city. As we walked past the reception we saw a huge buffet spread of Breakfast almost a mile across in the air conditioned patio. There were about 8 diners and the breakfast was enough to feed 50! Soon brunch was laid. There were five diners and the food was enough for another 50. This too was cleared and Lunch was laid out soon after. Lunch had a better crowd of about 50 people thought there was enough to feed 100. Made me sick in the stomach and for once I thanked God that I am such a salad buff. I never progress beyond the Salad counter at any buffet.
We were the last to troop in for lunch after a beer and a swim. There were used plates piled up in a container in a corner. The amount of food wasted was an eye popping amount. I wondered if these diners would waste food at home with the same impunity that they do at buffets and parties. Now...I understand that this is the hospitality business and food is just another commodity being sold. So I am not going to rant about wastage here. But I have seen people eating leftovers in the dustbins outside wedding halls….and I still cannot get that sight out of my mind.
Outside, tending to the vast gardens of the Resort were scores of workers. As I watched them from the air conditioned comfort of the dining hall I couldn’t but feel sick at the situation here. These people needed the kind of nutrition that we get because of the tough physical work they do while we need to eat simply as we are mostly in front of the comp doing mental work.
Of course we all know that such things don’t happen...people are poor and there are people who are not poor and all that blah. What defies logic is that we build satellites, send people into space, break the speed of sound and what not...but we are yet to eradicate poverty and hunger. If we can achieve all those scientific breakthroughs then what prevents us from solving the simple problem of poverty and hunger? Why do we have people living hand to mouth side by side with people who gorge themself to obesity and cardiac arrest!!
Most IT cos. including mine have something called a Corporate Social Initiative, where we adopt an old age home, or orphanage or donate our services like teaching in village schools etc. Such small initiatives are bringing about a lot of changes in the less fortunate people's lives. Ironic isn’t it that it takes a foreign company to instill a sense of community spirit and participation in us Indians? And we talk of our culture and family values?
I think herein lies a possible solution. We Indians have to stop living like islands and get involved in the community. We need to support and participate in community initiatives if we have to move the behemoth of poverty out of our land. But that takes sacrifice, like a Sunday spent in some community work and how many of us are willing to do that?
I hope I don’t sound snobbish here, but I was made to eat everything I had served on my plate. We learnt very early in life that it was better to take small servings or end up gagging because wastage was not allowed. The three of us siblings would trade left overs for odd jobs. You-finish-what’s-on-my-plate-and-I-will-polish-your-shoes-tomorrow kind of arrangement was the norm :)
I know it is easy to blog and sound all proper and do nothing...but I needed to vent some steam today after seeing the colossal wastage in the cafeteria.