Payal’s amazing superpower is cooking for a cause and spreading smiles
- October 7, 2022
We all love a good home-made meal. Living alone, or in hostels, out of the country and away from family makes us crave for lovingly cooked wholesome meals. The underprivileged groups in our society more often than not are not fortunate enough to have sometimes even one square meal a day.
Delhi based Payal Kumar wanted to change this through her cooking for a cause initiative.
That was the inception of Feed The Souls– a sincere endeavour that seeks to provide loving care and freshly prepared meals to underprivileged groups in our society. Payal took her dream of cooking for a cause to the next level during the pandemic’s first lockdown. Let’s get some insight into her journey.
How did you come up with the idea of Feed The Souls?
Everyone has the right to food, and nobody should ever go to bed hungry. We wanted to provide everyone with access to high-quality food. Since we love to cook, cooking for a cause became our passion. We were raised with the concept of Anndaan, and we have since learned that paying it forward is the finest thing one can do. Giving back has always been a part of our upbringing, but in March 2020, during the first lockdown of the pandemic, we officially formed FTS in order to expand our reach and meet like-minded individuals.
You are a home chef and cooking for a cause is your skill. Do you think each skill we have can be used for a social cause to create change?
We find happiness in cooking, and it has therapeutic benefits. That’s how cooking for a cause became our mission. Each of us has a skill that we hold dear and are passionate about.
It is worthwhile to employ enthusiasm for a higher purpose.
It brings about a great deal of enjoyment and fulfillment. We met kids on the distribution drives who had never had a birthday party or experienced the joy of cutting a cake. For many of us, cutting a cake and receiving special treatment on our birthdays is a routine tradition, but for youngsters living in slums, it has great significance.
Why should only a select group of people in our society celebrate birthdays?
What began as cooking for a cause catapulted into other directions too and then we started Project Utsav, in which kids who are unsure of their birthdate pick a date to celebrate. We make them feel special by cutting a cake, blowing out the candles, dancing, and throwing a little party for other cluster kids to celebrate their birthday. Their confidence, self-esteem, enthusiasm is enhanced by this experience. More than 160 birthdays have been celebrated by us so far!
What challenges do you face on a daily basis when it comes to creating an impact towards your cause?
Every time we go for distribution, we are reminded of the enormous amount of work that remains. The hardest part of the procedure is finding people who want to help and support your cause. We can’t consistently cover the places we wish to if we work alone. To help us create the future we foresee, we would want to urge individuals to volunteer, sponsor, and spread the word.
What keeps you motivated amidst these challenges?
The excitement and satisfaction we see on the faces of the children in the slums when we prepare and serve meals to them inspires us to work harder. Always!
There are a lot of people in our community that are passionate about causes. Give them some actionable pointers to begin collaboration with NGOs / Communities associated with that cause
We all have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. All that is required of us is the willingness to start.
Nothing is trivial as long as it is done well.
Slum children who attend school and require assistance are most welcome in the activity centre we have opened. With activities like art & craft, painting, dancing, and singing, we are aiming for holistic growth. We welcome high school students, college students, housewives, and teachers to visit and interact with these kids so they may learn from you.
Recently we also began Project Saksham, a small effort to give children of slums a place where they can explore, learn, create and imagine a life which will help them to break out of vicious circle of poverty.
There is always something we can do to give back to society in our own way, whether it is cooking for a cause or using any other skill you have. Let’s all spread compassion and use our privilege for the betterment of society as a whole. You can connect with us to start your journey.
With that we wrapped up our conversation with Payal, a soul who touches the lives of many, simply by cooking for a cause, loving home-made meals, making sure celebrations are not just a privilege but a right everyone should have.
Instagram and Facebook @feedthesouls_bypayalkumar
WhatsApp +91 8587024866 for collaborations
WhatsApp or Call +91 9810010438 for donation drives or individual donors
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for corporate tie-ups
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