A few days ago I was attending an event in Lahore. It was focused on spreading awareness in youth regarding volunteerism in our society. There, I had the opportunity to meet with Parveen Saeed also known for her endeavor, “Khana Ghar“. I found a combination of dignity and simplicity in her personality.
As explained in her profile, Parveen’s life changed when she read about a mother who killed her children for she could not feed them.
Moved by this tragedy, Parveen Saeed started “Khana Ghar” in 2002 as an organization that provides a healthy meal for 3 rupees. Instead of making free food, her philosophy is to provoke poor so they continue to earn whatever little that they can manage and are able to keep their pride. She also believes that when there is free food people waste it for no reason.
The menu at Khana Ghar keeps changing. Sometimes it is lentils (daal), sometimes it’s vegetables, on other days its beans while, Sunday is reserved as meat day.
Khana Ghar, which started as self-funded initiative feeds about 300 underprivileged people daily. Gradually, Parveen also reached out to others because of which a sporadic stream of donations continues to come in every now and then. There is, however a need to organize a regular source of funding, so that Khana Ghar can operate without having to struggle to obtain supplies. Presently, the daily cost of keeping the operations active stands at Rs. 4000/- (i.e. USD 40). The organization needs the support of community members who would pledge regular donations to ensure that Khana Ghar continues its good work unhindered.
In the long run, Parveen wants to expand Khana Ghar to all parts of the country and desires to see that day soon when no one will sleep hungry.
The role that media – including social media – can play here is highly critical. It is their responsibility to identify such people and share their stories with the world. To inspire people and infuse a spirit of positivism in Pakistanis and show this side of Pakistan to the world.
Details regarding Khana Ghar, its work and ways to make donations can be accessed from its website. For daily updates, the organization’s Facebook page serves as a good source.