The Silver Lining Under the Bridge
The 5th South India NGO’s Conference held in Bangalore last month felicitated Azhar Maqsusi and Yusuf Mukati with the “Social Heroes Award” for the grassroots work they have been doing to make lives of the poor a lot better and brighter!
“Homeless people should be clothed and fed, not given money,” says Azhar Maqsusi
Azhar Maqsusi, 36, based in Hyderabad, has been through tough times right from childhood. Having lost his father when he was just 4 years old, he watched his mother bring him and his siblings up with great difficulty. “I know what it is to sleep hungry and to go without food for days”, says Maqsusi. Having been through the pain himself, he wanted to do something for those who go hungry every day. Seeing that a large number of poor and destitute were going hungry every day in the city, Azhar launched a daily free food camp under the Dabeerpura bridge in Hyderabad and under the Chanchalguda flyover. The programme was launched by Azhar around four years ago when he saw a physically-handicapped woman, Lakshmi, begging near the railway station. “The next day, my wife cooked food for around 15 people and I distributed it near the flyover,” said Maqsusi, who has a plaster of Paris interior design business. “I realised that so many people could not afford even a single healthy meal a day and so I hired a paid cook, who sets up his “kitchen” under the Dabeerpura bridge and the Chanchalguda flyover everyday from 1 to pm. Hot and healthy lunch is served to over 300 people, everyday, who are homeless and poor. I personally serve them and supervise everything. One of my well wishers has been contributing 16 sacks of rice every month. A lot of friends have joined in, but I do not accept any donations in money. I only take in kind. I post pictures on Facebook to create awareness that so many people sleep hungry in a city everyday,” says Azhar. Azhar can be reached on his facebook: Azhar Maqsusi – Facebook