Published on: June 11, 2019
Written By: Nikhat Fatima
By Nikhat Fatima, TwoCircles.net
Mohammed Shujatullah, a student of Pharm D from Sultan Ul Uloom College of Pharmacy, Hyderabad began serving free breakfast to the needy three years ago and is continuing to do so till date without a break of a single day.
Every morning he goes to three Government hospitals in Hyderabad – Nilofer Hospital, Government Maternity Hospital, Koti and Nizam Institute of medical sciences (NIMS) with hot Upma cooked in pure ghee and chutney to serve breakfast to the patients and their attendants. He finishes serving breakfast by 9.15-9.30 am in all the three hospitals feeding nearly a 1000 people.
How it began
Shujat spoke to TwoCircles.net about how his philanthropic journey that started in 2014 by serving food packets to just 10 people and by 2016 went on to reach 1000, “ When I was in my final year of bachelor’s degree I had failed in one subject. And as I was awaiting my results I sent up a prayer that I will feed 10 hungry people if my backlog is cleared. It was the day the results were to be declared.”
And luckily he passed. And so the same night, he went to the street with 10 packets of food. He woke up an old man to give the food, but the man declined by saying he had his fill and told Shujat to give the food packet to someone else.
Shujat did not expect this from a homeless poor person. He says, “ the old man could have taken the food and kept it for the morning. But he was so honest. And that touched a chord in me”.
people waiting in queue for the breakfast
The 10 packets were not enough as there more people who wanted food. Shujat came the next night again with more food packets and this time again the old man who had fallen asleep huddled in a corner due to the chilly winter said the same thing. Shujat asked the man to keep the food for the morning. And the man said, ‘God will feed me in the morning. For now, you give my share to someone else’. Shujat was impressed not just with the honesty of the old man but his belief in Providence.
Shujat says, he got to thinking, ‘here is a homeless beggar, who does not even know if he will get the next meal, yet he has such a firm belief in the Almighty who is the provider of one and all.’ And after this, he began serving food packets on a daily basis to the persons on the streets.
serving breakfast at Niloufer Hospital
One day he had a chance to go to a Government Hospital where he saw people from different districts and villages come to Hyderabad for treatment and they lived in the hospital for days together with their attendants. They find it difficult to buy food due to monetary problems. So the idea of serving breakfast struck him. Mid-day Meals are available at the Telangana food centre at Rs.5/- which they could afford.
Fortunately for Shujat, his father has 12 siblings and all of them with their children are in a good position. He capitalised on this and made quick calls to all of them and asked them all to donate their one day’s salary to him. He explained to them what he would do with the funds. And soon he had enough money to enable him to serve breakfast twice a week in one Government Hospital. And soon friends and other extended family started donating. “As they say, little drops make a mighty ocean, funds started to come steadily and soon I was able to serve breakfast on a daily basis,” he told TwoCircles.net.
The daily expense for Upma for approximately 1000 persons with 25 kilos of semolina comes to Rs. 5000/- including the auto charges and the cost of disposable cutlery. On why he chose Upma, Shujat says, “ Upma is easy to make and if I attempt any other item there will be a difference in the planned budget.”
And when his service came to light through media, more people began to donate. And Shujat who was getting immense satisfaction from feeding the poor, decided to start a foundation for charity and service. So in 2016, he registered ‘Humanity First Foundation’.
Humanity First Foundation
Through the foundation, Shujat reached out to potential donors through friends, social media platforms and also crowdfunding via the internet. His activities also expanded gradually and he now distributes blankets to people on the streets; free supper in the nights to beggars, donates books and other things in orphanages, helps very poor families with their monthly ration.
Once the foundation was registered his contacts also grew. Other like-minded NGOs contacted him to work in collaboration. So now Shujat has extended his services to an old age home on the suburbs of Hyderabad where he supplies medicines, adult diapers and groceries, supports a livelihood program for women by running a tailoring centre in a neighbouring town and providing them sewing machines and conducting free medical camps. He even identifies homeless old people who have no one to take care of them and admits them in old age homes.
Sehri in Ramzan
This year for the month of Ramzan Shujat has gone one step ahead and made arrangements to provide saheri/ suhur (pre-dawn meal) for those attendants who want to observe Roza. Till now he has provided saheri meals to around 8000 -10,000 people. He has put up a board with his contact number so whoever wants to fast have to just call him up and the saheri will be provided to them between 2 and 3 am. For Ramazan, he has 15 volunteers who distribute the food. On other days his volunteers turn up for 2 days a week for the morning routine.
What the future holds for him and the Foundation
Shujatullah shared with TwoCircles.net, that he is able to do all this not just because of the good values instilled by his parents but also because of the support his friends, family and donors have been rendering.
And he is one busy person juggling his internship at Aster prime Hospital after serving breakfast in the hospitals which he finishes by 9.15. After coming home from the hospital, after a quick bite, he goes to overlook the functioning of the small Urdu medium school started by his grandfather.
His father is a retired government employee and mother a homemaker. Shujat has no intention of going abroad or even out of Hyderabad even though he got several offers. For him, his foundation comes first.
“ I hope my life partner will have the same passion as me so I can continue my work with the same zeal”, he says laughingly when asked about the future. “ I am going to continue to serve the poor as long as I can” he added. He finishes his Pharma D (Doctor of Pharmacy) in about 2 months after which he intends to find work in Hyderabad itself.
Shujat and his team
Shujat has very few friends and does not indulge in any of the activities the youth of his age like watching movies, idle hanging out with friends and so on, which is why he has lots of time to follow his passion.
To know more about Shujat and his work and to help him, check out his website or mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org call him at 9676054142