Quiet Radicals: Ankit Kawatra
What is a Quiet Radical?
Every single day, there are people all across the globe who inspire and motivate, initiating change through acts, whether big or small, to make the world a better place. Leading by example and going against the status quo by simply asking, “Why not?” With those words, a path of change is created.
These are who we at Five Dot Botanics call quiet radicals, they need not be loud or even be seen at the forefront to make changes around them, they just need to do, and that is the push required to start radical change.
Who is Ankit Kawatra?
“Inspiration can strike in the most unlikely of places.” - Ankit Kawatra
A place with music, laughter and food was where 22-year-old Ankit Kawatra was struck with inspiration. In 2014 at an Indian wedding, he bore witness to the excessive food wastage that was happening with such ease and with India having over 190 million people who are malnourished, he asked himself, “Why not help the hungry?”
One question changed his course in life, and so a wedding led him to his calling: he was going to end hunger in India.
WHAT HAS HE DONE?
“Big problems like hunger and poverty sometimes don’t need complicated solutions. Solutions are all around us.” - Ankit Kawatra
Once he quit his corporate job, his mind was focused on his new mission. His task was not going to be easy, no one said it would, and there were times he doubted what he was doing. With each challenge he faced, he faced them with determination, his first obstacle was trying to convince businesses to change their food wastage practices, that more good would come from helping those who could not afford balanced meals. Starting with a caterer that lived in his neighbourhood who gave him food he would have otherwise thrown away (after several visits from Ankit), he managed to feed a family of 25.
This was how Feeding India was born, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to provide meals for India’s most vulnerable, starting in 2014 and expanding to several cities. In just four years, the organisation had managed to serve 22 million meals to people, this made Feeding India one of the fastest growing movements in the world.
WHAT HAS FEEDING INDIA ACHIEVED?
“We just have to try.” - Ankit Kawatra
Aside from being the fastest movement in the world and having several organisations reach out to learn how they too can scale at such a rapid rate, Feeding India has surpassed what Ankit first thought. As of 2020, the network has over 26,000 volunteers, found in around 104 cities, having served over 120 million meals. Ankit has been recognised for his social efforts by organisations such the UN, being awarded Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals. Even with this recognition among many others, Ankit still stays focused on what truly matters: ending hunger.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
“My name is Ankit Kawatra and my mission is to end hunger.” - Ankit Kawatra
The future looks bright for Feeding India, after being acquired by Zomato, a food delivery platform, it still functions as a not-for-profit organisation showing just how devoted Ankit is to his mission. Having also started a community fridge scheme simply known as Happy Fridge that sees the installation of fridges at entries and exits of apartment complexes to store food that would otherwise be wasted. Ankit wants to expand this scheme to railway stations and perhaps in the near future could also be expanded to several other places.
Ankit is an inspiration, just like the other quiet radicals we will highlight every month. One question is all it takes, one question is all that counts, one question is what can change the future.
Find out more about Ankit and Feeding India at: https://www.feedingindia.org/
All quotes sourced from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psLWRn7KapA