Garbage Food!

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“Food is God, so don’t waste food. If you have excess food, share it with others.” (BHAGWAN BABA)

Taruni was a little girl who was the apple of her parents’ eyes. Over the years, she had become spoilt, because all her wishes and demands were fulfilled, even before she voiced them completely. All meals were cooked in the house to please her. She would pile up her plate with the delectable dishes that were prepared especially for her. Her little stomach would not be able to take in so much, so the food would go waste. But the parents did not bother to correct her.

One day, as a part of the Value Education Programme, Taruni went on a school trip to a nearby slum. Her teacher and other peers took a walk in the slum and the teacher pointed out to the children, the pathetic living conditions of the slum dwellers. They noticed that a van stopped nearby and dumped two huge black polythene bags and sped away. We as educated people are taught, not to touch unattended objects. But here in the slum, the moment the bags were dropped, all the slum dwellers around, made a dash for them and tore the bags open. Out tumbled bits and pieces of bread, rotis smeared with vegetables, noodles, bits and pieces of salad, silver foil rolled into balls, crumbled paper napkins etc. Everything was just dumped into the bags. It was all a big mess, but for the slum dwellers, it was a treat. They hungrily grabbed whatever they could lay their hands on and stuffed it into their hungry mouths.

Taruni stood, rooted to the spot. She couldn’t believe it. Those people were eating food that was practically garbage! The teacher called out, “Come on children, it is time to go , Taruni, come child it’s getting late.” But Taruni wasn’t listening. The teacher shook her by the shoulder. Then Taruni said, “Ma’am what are these people doing?” The teacher paused for a moment and said, “It seems a nearby restaurant, collects all the leftover food, and drops it off here every day. These people eat it for want of anything better. It may seem inhuman to you but the restaurant owner is actually doing them a favour.”

“But Ma’am, how can they eat it? It is garbage!” whispered Taruni in disbelief. The teacher replied in a sombre tone, “Perhaps, they’ve wasted a lot of food in their last birth, so they have to eat it now!”

We are living in a world where a large number of people do not have enough food to satisfy their hunger. Yet we waste, unmindful of how wrong it is to do so. It is always better to give to those in need than to let good food go down the drain. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children not to waste food. Needless to say, example is better than precept.

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