Founder of Khana Ghar (Parveen Saeed)
There is a town “Khuda Ki Basti” in outskirts of Karachi. It is home to very poor families who are merely surviving. I came across the story of two Parveens here, one providing food for the body and the other one for the mind. Which is more important, you decide!
Parveen Saeed: Khana Ghar, Food for Rs3 (3 Pakistani Rupees)
“Mother killed her own children because she could not feed them”. We read such news often and then move on but years ago one such news changed Parveen Saeed’s life, forever. She decided to help and started cooking extra food at her home for hungry. We can’t manage like this, family advised. So she moved from a middle class to a poor people’s town Khuda ki Basti and established first Khana Ghar (Food Home). This place provides food for Rs3, though it costs Rs20. Where does Rs17 come from?
Parveen Saeed serving at Khana Ghar
Parveen explains, I started from home, family got involved, friends followed. Then we got known and support started pouring in. Some charities are providing food for free, why do you charge Rs3? There are two reasons, Parveen illustrates. One, people tend to care less for free food so there will be wastage, and two, charging encourages the person to work and earn few Rs to get food for the family.
Parveen is getting busier despite food cost sky rocketing. There are two Khana Ghars and four pickup points (mobile food homes) functioning at present. Current political and economic situation is ever increasing the number of hungry. Some people can’t even pay a single Rs. We don’t bar anyone from eating. If one can pay, fine, otherwise he is welcome for free.
People Eating at Khana Ghar
Parveen understands that her scheme cannot eradicate the hunger. To eliminate it we need to change our thoughts. We need to understand that country needs to develop an infrastructure that provides and promotes economic opportunities for people to earn respectably.