"My father was a freedom fighter, and he has been my true inspiration to give back to the community and uplift society. I have been involved in social work for 25 years of my life.
I am Anoop Khanna, and I own several pharmacies in Noida, India. Many years ago, I realised that the basic needs of people are food, clothes, and medicines. Hence, providing them with these basic necessities at an affordable price became my only aim.
When my mother lost her appetite due to old age, she jokingly said, “Feed my share of food to someone who is in need”. My family absolutely loved the idea and started 'Dadi ki Rasoi' (Grandmother’s Kitchen) in 2015. Initially, we started with basic food items such as lentils-rice (daal-chawal) and pickles. As it grew, we started adding more variety on the menu and now every day we feed over 500 people.
In order to respect the dignity of the poor, I ensured that every beneficiary pays ₹5 (less than $0.20) for a portion of food. It is highly important to me that the self-respect of every person is retained. Each person eating food from 'Dadi ki Rasoi' should feel that they have bought their own meal with their own money and not because of someone’s mercy.
Having said that, I also understand that there are many who are unable to afford even ₹5 (less than $0.20) so I came up with another solution to help such people. I keep a broomstick near the setup where we sell food. Whoever does not have any money can help clean the nearby area and in return, they can be fed for 10 days. This way people understand the importance of working hard, earning their own money, and not relying on freebies.
We are also on a mission to educate people on the importance of civic sense and social responsibility. Hence, we have decided that we will not cater to the people who either park their vehicles irresponsibly on roads or do not patiently wait in the queue. Moreover, if we see them littering around after having their meal, they will not be served any food for the next three days. This has sparked so much awareness and willingness in them to adhere to the rules.
I have also started the Sadhbhavna Store (Goodwill Store) where we accept clothes, shoes, books, and many other items in good condition. The store is open to people in need to come and choose to buy at an affordable price of ₹10 (less than $0.40).
My intention is to provide an experience for the people in need and give them the luxury to choose from various options. I am also a proud owner of the first government-supported medical store in Noida that sells quality medicines to the needy at affordable prices.
I feel thrilled that my aim of providing the three necessities - food, clothes, and medicines - is coming true, and I have been able to touch many lives. Dadi ki Rasoi is turning 5 on August 21st. With the help of many noble souls, we are renting a small air-conditioned space to extend our operations. Our guests can now enjoy food from Dadi ki Rasoi in the luxury of an air-conditioned hall. It is truly a dream come true."
You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Anoop Khanna for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.
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