Azhar Maqsusi is a 36-year-old resident of the Old City area in Hyderabad. He earns his living from his Plaster of Paris interior design business.
Three years ago, on his way to work, he saw a physically handicapped woman called Lakshmi under a bridge. She was begging but not for money; she wanted food since she hadn’t eaten in days.
An epiphany dawned upon Azhar and he decided to do something to end the hunger of the destitute.
So he found an empty space under the Chanchalguda flyover near the Malakpet station and started offering free food.
“My father died when I was very young and my mother raised all of us with great difficulty. I know what it is to sleep hungry.”
His wife joined his noble cause and, initially, was the one who cooked meals for the poor.
Over the last three years, the number has grown from 15 to over 100. Deccan Chronicle reports
that to this day rice, dal
is served to the destitute during the afternoon (during non-Ramzan months) and post-Iftar (during Ramzan) every day.
Nearly 25 kg rice, 2 kg pulses, one litre of oil and spices are required every day.
The costs are high. Including the remuneration of the cook, around Rs.1500 to Rs.1700 is spent daily.
But Maqsusi’s noble work has not gone unnoticed. Friends and even strangers have come forward to help him.
He tells The News Minute
“A stranger had lost his way and found himself amid this. He was travelling above the bridge for many years and did not realise that this was happening below. He then told his brother, who had come down from the US about this.”
Azhar does not accepts money. He says that he only takes kind. “The reason I post pictures on Facebook is not so people donate but to create awareness that so many people sleep hungry in a city everyday,” Azhar adds.