Mohd Sujathullah, a Pharmacy student from India, distributes free food to people every day outside Hospitals in Hyderabad, India.
For the last 500 days he has been sticking to a daily routine of feeding breakfast to around 1,000 people and then sitting down to eat his own breakfast.
Sujathullah wakes up early and leaves his house around 7:30 am every morning. He reaches Koti Maternity Hospital in Hyderabad, where 300 poor patients have already queued up and are waiting for a meal. Within 15 minutes, he, along with a volunteer or two, finishes distributing hot raw upma to them and proceeds to his next destination Nilofer Children’s Hospital. There, about 700 people are waiting to get their own bowl of breakfast after spending a restless night on the grounds of this government hospital.
“About 90 percent of the people who come to government hospitals hail from small districts and nearby villages and are poor. Due to lack of facilities, they sleep on the road and go without a morning meal as well. I wanted to give them free food that we eat and started by distributing raw upma in desi ghee to these patients,” says Sujathullah.
For almost 500 days now, this routine has become a part of his daily schedule. He shows up at both locations every morning, irrespective of bad weather, poor health or other unforeseen reasons.
An average student at school who had learning difficulties early on, Sujathullah went on to pursue a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy from Sultan Ul Uloom College, Hyderabad. His father, Mohammed Sibghatullah Subhani, is a retired school teacher. Sujathullah was raised in a joint family of 25 members and he grew up experiencing the joy of sharing. But the true happiness one can derive from sharing, especially with the lesser privileged, did not hit him until the day he vowed to feed 10 people if he passed a college exam.
Having successfully cleared the exam, Sujathullah decided to follow through with his plan. On reaching the Secunderabad railway station, where he wanted to distribute the food, he understood what food really means to people.
“There was one kid pulling my shirt, the others waiting patiently with glimmering eyes. I realised what hunger really means. I had never felt a sense of such deep contentment as I did after feeding them,” recalls Sujathullah
He then returned to his house and convinced his family to dedicate one day’s earnings in a month for this cause . Seeing passion and determination in his cause, his family came forward to help him start distributing food three to four times a week to around 150 people.
“People living in comfort hardly realise the pain and suffering of the hungry and the malnourished. My intention is to give the food we eat to those less privileged, and to ensure this we get a nutritious meal made in pure ghee from a three-star hotel in Hyderabad “ says Sujathullah.
With a daily expense of Rs 3,500, he now feeds from 700 to a 1,000 people every day in the streets around the hospital. During the summers, Sujathullah organises frequent water camps, and in winters conducts blanket distribution drives.
In 2016 Sujathullah established the non-profit organisation Humanity First Foundation Hyderabad, and initiated new projects alongside his free food drives.
The most remarkable one is Project Transformation, an initiative to transform the lives of the homeless. The Project helps homeless people reform their lives and provides the support needed for their makeover and rehabilitation.
“After necessary counselling , we provide them a ray of hope for a better living. We have collaborated with old-age homes, and if they are convinced, taking police permission, we transfer them to the shelter homes where adequate care is given,” adds Sujathullah.
With the support of donors and volunteers, they also conduct regular medical camps at slums and distribute free medicines post check-ups. Visits to orphanages and ration distribution are other activities undertaken by the organisation to promote social welfare in and around areas of Hyderabad.
Undeterred by the obstacles, Sujathullah stands tall in his conviction and sets a good example for the millennials to rise above the everyday challenges and selflessly serve those in need.