Hyderabad’s hunger activist Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi, who has been feeding thousands of people everyday as part of his food drive ‘Hunger Has No Religion’ was awarded a top UK award recently.
In order to honour Maqsusi’s efforts, he was conferred with the Commonwealth Points of Light award for his drive that helps to feed 1,500 people on a daily basis. The award is for those ‘outstanding individuals who are making a change in their community’.
Maqsusi told The Hindu that he was most happy about seeing the Indian tricolour being featured next to ‘Hunger Has No Religion’ on the Points of Light website.
For Maqsusi, the initiative started from a humble background when he saw a poor old woman in Hyderabad’s Old City and after speaking to her, realised she was hungry. He fed her and having found her near the Dabeerpura flyover
realised there were many others in the nearby areas who couldn’t afford to eat. It was then that he launched his ‘Hunger Has No Religion’ drive and started feeding people on a daily basis.
Initially his wife cooked the meals for the first 4-5 months but later on, as the number of people rose, Maqsusi started serving the food near the Gandhi Hospital.
Maqsusi’s NGO Sani Welfare Foundation has also taken the initiative to 4 other cities in the country- Bengaluru and Raichur in Karntaka, Cuttack in Odisha and Goalpara in Assam.
He had also started off the ‘Do Roti’ campaign where people in Hyderabad were encouraged to carry extra food when leaving their homes so that they could give it to people who might need them.
The Points of Light on its website shared the news about Maqsusui’s win of the award and Dr Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad said of Maqqsusi’s contribution," Azhar’s contribution to society is incredible and has meant the difference between a meal or no meal for millions. There are many similar missions of selfless sacrifice and service, some emerging as a result of the pandemic, but the powerful ‘Hunger has no Religion’ has ran for 8 years, reaching the most vulnerable and delivering a powerful underlying message to all. I cannot be happier for him and members of the Sani Welfare Foundation."