No More Missing: To Reunite Child Beggars With Their Families, Click A Photo & Share On Social Media

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A couple of days ago, Ankit was thronged by a group of child beggars near Phoenix mall in Pune. Had it been someone else, they might have dismissed the kids with a few ten-rupee notes or simply ignored them. But Ankit stumbled upon a little boy among them, still uneasy with the practice of approaching people for money. Immediately, he managed to click a photo of the boy and shared it on the public Facebook group – No More Missing. The photo has been circulating on social media for the past few days and active searches are on for the boy’s family.

‘No More Missing’, a citizen-driven pan-India initiative to prevent child trafficking has managed to rescue and reunite hundreds of missing children with their families. Their basic mandate is to stop giving money to child beggars anywhere but to circulate their photo instead. 

The Horrifying Menace Of Child Trafficking

The movement was launched in September 2015 by Dr Vandna Guliya, a social activist from Delhi. She was deeply troubled by frequent reports of little children being trafficked into begging rackets which are active in urban pockets. As a mother, she was inevitably worried about the safety of her own children and genuinely concerned about the rising menace of child trafficking. 

“Most of the child beggars we find on the streets might have been abducted and sold into this abysmal profession. Some of them have been trafficked hundreds of miles away from their homes. Finding a missing child in India is like searching for a needle in a haystack,” Vandna explains the problem to Efforts For Good

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

How No More Missing Works

This is where the power of social media comes in handy. It takes just a few moments to upload the photo of a child beggar along with the location. The photo is circulated widely on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram in dedicated No More Missing groups or among the public until the child is reunited with the family.

Photos of missing children are also uploaded and shared along with a detailed description. Harnessing the splendid outreach of social media is way faster than solely depending on police authorities or Missing Persons Bureau to initiate action.

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“We have more than 20 crore members in India who keep the No More Missing network active 24×7. The impact of the movement has gone beyond borders. Countries like the UK, USA have started similar citizen-driven programmes to ensure the safety of children,” shares Vandna.

No More Missing
No More Missing volunteers

Vandna believes that creating awareness about the safety of kids deserves paramount importance. She operates a No More Missing core team comprising 12 full-time members who conduct safety workshops for children and their parents in schools and communities across India, especially Delhi, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. The entire funding comes from Vandna’s personal savings. She strongly discourages any attempt to monetise the movement.

How To Ensure Your Child’s Safety

In most cases, a child goes missing due to momentary negligence by the parent, be it in a crowd or public transport. No More Missing trains parents how to stay alert all the time. They also teach children how to protect themselves in public spaces and strangers with malicious intent.

Vandna advises, “We request all parents to approach the authorities immediately in case their child goes missing. They should file a report to 1098 and go through all the documentation paraphernalia in details. All these are very important in locating a missing child.”

No More Missing
Vandna conducting an awareness session at a school

“You take pity on a poor child in shabby clothes and give them some money. Little do you realise that money will only end up in the hands of racketeers. Our responsibility is to break this vicious cycle. Give them food, clothes and share their photos around – that’s the best way to prevent them from turning into beggars,” she adds.

A-lister celebrities like Vidya Balan, Anil Kapoor and John Abraham have pledged their support to the No More Missing movement. The team also has plans to coordinate with Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, for more effective child protection measures across the country.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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