Monday 7 January 2008

When I was a kid, our teacher told us a story of a little boy who was born and brought up in the city. He was a good kid and a good student too.

But everyday he used to leave some food in his dish। His mother used to explain him that leaving the food in the dish is not a good thing, one must take the food as per his / her need and clean the dish before leaving the dining table but all in vain.

One day his grandfather comes from his native place। And he notices the same but says nothing. On the day of returning to his village, he asks his grandson to come to his village in the forthcoming vacation for a month. The grandson is really delighted with the idea of spending the whole vacation with the Grandfather who never asks him to behave.

Then he goes to the native place and truly he likes the environment over there। The traditional house, loving relatives, stables, the animals, stoned road, fresh cow milk, fragrance of air, the swing, the well and everything attracts him very much.

Then after few days his grandpa asks him to accompany him to his farm which is in the next village। When he reaches the farm early morning, he sees that everyone is working. He feels funny. He asks grandpa what so many people are doing early morning.

The Grandpa says that they are producing wheat। The grandson feels that there is no need to do all these efforts. He says to his Grandpa that why he doesn’t go to nearby retail store and buy the bag of wheat floor. With his innocent question, Grandpa bursts into laugh.

Then Grandpa asks him, “From which factory the wheat floor comes?” which confuses this child very much।

Then Grandpa explains him how wheat is produced with the sweat of hard working farmers who work day and night throughout the year and who does not have vacation in his life।

The 1/4th of bread costs 365 working days of a farmer per year। He shows his grandson the roughness of the hand which comes through enormous labor and rigorous lifestyle of the farmer. He shows the different process that takes place for one peace of bread viz. ploughing, sowing, planting, pruning, manuring, watering, protecting, weeding etc.

After spending one whole day at farm, the boy takes oath never to leave a single grain of food on the dish and to clean the dish before leaving the dining table।

This story and the way our teacher told it to us, made a great impact on life। Many of my classmates changed their eating habits.

Later when I was young, I read a book on Indo-China war which was written by famous author Li। Col. Shyam Chavhan who was imprisoned by Chinese soldiers in 1962. He wrote that at every Chinese army posts there are hens and since Chinese soldiers are mainly rice eaters, whatever the granules of rice are remaining after the meal are ate by these hens and chicks and then these hens are their party food specially on festivals. It happens because Chinese Govt. itself cares about every single grain.

We also must realize that in the world there are people who cannot have food twice a day। Therefore we must also value the food. Also we should not go for the things like unnecessary food wastage in any form. I still remember that once I wrote a letter to the producer of “Lizzy Macquire”, my beloved TV serial which shown food fight (Throwing food on each other) in one of its series.

Also, I found that in Indian marriage ceremony, large quantity food is wasted in city। In village the waste food is given to animals, especially Cows, ox and buffalos. But in city, the extra food prepared by the caterer is simply thrown into garbage on a large scale which is threat to sanitation as well.

We can utilize this food simply by calling 10-9-8 which is a child helpline। This helpline particularly works for street children and the children who are the victim of the abuse and mal treatment. But if we call them, they come to your doorstep and collect the extra food. Many five star hotels are connected to this help line and they are contributing their leftovers with these children.

So if you arranged a party and if there is leftover in a large scale, all you have to do is to dial 1098.