Annakshetra first received a call from the Hon’ble Minister of Education and Health, Mr. Kali Charan Saraf, on the day of Diwali in the year 2014. He called up to inquire if we take surplus sweets as well. We replied with a big smile on our face with a loud yes.
Every Diwali since Annakshetra started, we have been aware of the problem of people not being able to eat all the sweets they receive as gifts, and not being able to finish them before the date of expiry. The result is that a huge amount of delicious sweets go to the trash bin. This was in contrast to the Diwali experienced by less fortunate people, who were not able to taste these delicacies on Diwali, and could only see huge boxes being trashed, and mixed with other waste.
The call we received from Mr. Saraf had all the answers and solutions to the problems we had been facing. Upon arrival of the Annakshetra team, he explained how he receives boxes after boxes of sweets every year on various occasions, more so on Diwali. He said that he felt bad when all his well-wishers gave him these gifts that were doomed to get wasted because he could not have consumed it all by himself. So, he thought of Annakshetra, and connected with our motto of reducing food wastage. He was able to imaging, how the sweets that were bound to be wasted, could be used to bring smiles to the faces of so many families. With this in mind, he started a tradition of donating the sweets he receives on Diwali to Annakshetra Foundation.
This tradition marked its 3 rd anniversary this year when again, Mr. Saraf himself called Annakshetra Foundation and making the donation to bring smiles to over 20 families in a swift action of saving the environment and honoring the value of food. For he also believes, every grain saved equals to a grain produced, and continuously reducing the wastage of food could eventually help us in reducing hunger and poverty.
Annakshetra wants to thank and salute Mr. and Mrs. Saraf for their generous contribution, and we hope that this tradition continues and spreads a movement of saving food to every household.