Founder, Human Universal Group
In a time where hate is easily spread and disagreements turn violent pretty quickly, the inherent goodness of humans is questioned. Humans are known to be kind and empathetic while we are also the biggest perpetrators of damage. The origin of the word “humanity” seems to have lost its meaning. In such a time, people like Madhumita Kalauny show us that the human spirit is indeed good.
Madhumita Kalauny is the founder of HUG (Human Universal Good), an organization which focuses on reducing hunger across the country. She is based in Bangalore and has organized many food drives in the city.
Various Events done by HUG!!
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Soar2high:
What made you start HUG?
HUG was started at the end of 2014. Before that I wanted to open soup kitchens. It all started with the idea that hunger is a Human Rights crisis that can be easily solved. We can talk about equality and discrimination, all of that is valid. But hunger is a crisis that can be solved very easily with the right management. There is no dearth of food, food is in abundance. If only people would come forward, then it can be solved. So yeah, HUG was started with this principle in mind. Hunger is the root cause of everything. I have seen what it can do to people and it is the need of the hour.
What is “Gift-A-Meal”?
We were planning to onboard restaurants and request them as well as the patrons to pay about thirty rupees above their bill so that the restaurants would donate some food. HUG would take care of the logistics and make sure it would reach the right places. This is the idea behind “Gift-A-Meal”. If one can spend about 1,000-1500 rupees on their dinners, then thirty rupees is not a big amount. The frequency of restaurant-goers has also increased because we are all foodies now. So, this is the plan. We had tried this once but this time I have a better plan to organize it so we are relaunching the program.
What are the fundamentals of HUG?
The first pillar of HUG would be the citizens. If the general public didn’t care then we would not have reached where we are today. I have been very fortunate with HUG because whenever we needed to organize an event or handle a disaster, the people came to volunteer and make it happen. We don’t handle any monetary transactions. It is mostly material and food which is given to us and we handle the logistics of distribution. The second pillar would be the food providers. Be it restaurants or wedding caterers, any excess food which is edible and ends up being thrown in the dustbin is given to us because it is good food which should not go to waste. These are the most important people for our functioning. The third pillar would be distribution. We distribute food not only in slums but also the roads because I’ve seen a lot of people on the roads literally dying of hunger and scavenging any morsel they find. So yeah, these are the three pillars which hold up HUG.
Do you cook as well for hunger drives?
I have cooked. I used to stay in Dubai and relocated here after the lockdown. There the situation is really bad with all the migrant labourers. So whenever we had insufficient food, I used to cook in a big Handi. I have done that here also. Whatever it takes to feed people.
It was an honour to have Madhumita at soar2high and know about the good work she is doing for the society.