Hyderabad: A young engineer from Karnataka, Rehbar Maali, has found a new and efficient method to provide food to the needy. His foundation, the Dearhood Foundation (DF), has started a food card system. An individual can purchase a food card for Rs. 10 and give it to a beggar or anyone in need and they in turn can use the card to eat at any hotel or café in Belgaum.
Rehbar and his team of 20 engineers started the food card system with the objective to help the needy and eradicate hunger. The foundation was set to be established in 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the plan. DF was started in 2021.
Rehbar noticed that people who were willing to help beggars were often dissuaded from doing so because they were unsure whether the person was indeed in need of help or was a fraud. Their doubt often got in the way of helping the beggars. The Dearhood Foundation launched the free food card service to curb misuse of cash donations and encourage people to donate.
Over 300 small hotels have tied up with the foundation. The association of food hubs has also encouraged this non-profit initiative and joined hands with the Dearhood Foundation, assuring them they will provide food to the cardholder within the limits of the card. A few hotels are also offering meals (cooked for the staff) in exchange for the food card.
Thousands of food cards have already been distributed in Belgaum and the initiative has been a success. The food hubs have been playing an active role and have been giving food to the cardholders since the first week of January. A signboard has been placed at the hotels for easy identification.
Individuals who wish to help can buy the food cards directly from the hotel or online and then donate them to beggars. The cardholders can go to the hotels at any time.