HYDERABAD: ‘Like,’ if you think our Army jawans are sacrificing their lives for us. ‘Share,’ if you think farmers need attention and save them from suicides, ‘Comment,’ if you think women shouldn’t be subjected to any atrocity. Hanumanthappa dies at the Siachen Glacier and all we do is write how disillusioned we are in 140 characters on Twitter. ‘VandeMataram’ is just confined to ‘onedaymataram.’ Busy scrolling Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories, we often turn a blind eye to reciprocating the service they do for us.
Meanwhile, Dr Kiran Kumar, a nephrologist, Dr Shyam, a cardiologist, Sravanthi (Kiran’s wife), a techie in the US and Ranga Rao (Kiran’s father), a retired government employee get together to open Urban Eatery at Tirumalgiri crossroads. Wondering about the connect between love for the country and the family?
Well Urban Eatery donates 75 percent of its profits to the welfare of Army jawans, farmers, animals, women and children. Put together by NRIs, they say the eatery is an emotional journey for them, to serve the society and also create awareness on how important it is for the aam aadmi to express their gratitude towards life, at their leisure and capacity.
“Each time, the news flashed about farmer suicide and soldier sacrifice, my heart melted. The US treats me well and gave me much more than I had asked for. That’s when I had decided that I would donate my savings to Indian farmers and Army in 2015. I arrived in India in April 2016 when the news was ruled by repeated attacks on soldiers. I got off the plane at 3 am in Hyderabad after a journey of 19 hours from Washington DC.
We drove for another 12 hours to Betadur village in Karnataka to give a cheque to Hanumanthappa family. I took my wife and children. I live in USA and the brave soldiers here keep my family and friends safe. I wanted to honour him. That was the starting point,” he shares. S
arun, Kiran’s brother-in-law and managing director of the eatery, informed that Kiran had donated Rs 75,000.
Dr Kiran turned vegetarian a few years ago. “I gave up eating the biryanis and chicken 65’s. I took a stand to not kill to satisfy my stomach and tastebuds. Moreover Gobi Manchuria and chicken Manchuria taste the same,” says, the Hyderabad-born
He started off with a small change and realised he had the potential to bring in bigger changes. “Of course, logistics and budgeting is pivotal to do something on a bigger scale. I had saved up to buy a house, but diverted it pursue a business that would fetch me profits. I felt the money can be used for the welfare of those soldiers, farmers, women, children and animals. We did not want to start something small. Go big or go home. That was our motto. I approached Dr Shyam and he readily agreed to support the project,” he speaks about the inception. “There is immense joy in giving them,” he adds.
But why food? Sarun says food is something that gets noticed instantly and well, in Hyderabad goes hand in hand with food. Kiran strongly believes that they didn’t choose food, rather it chose them. “I was initially looking at function halls and once I had learnt about the budget, I was taken aback. It was ridiculously expensive. We thought our charity organisation ‘Ikshvaku Seva Group,’ which is still in registration process of the name could get out there faster in the food industry,” he smiles.
“We wanted people to come to us for great ambience, cleanliness, location, great food but not just for the cause. Our clientele can have anything on their checklist for a restaurant and Urban Eatery should be one of them. Be it location check, interiors check, cleanliness check, parking check, variety of food options from Mithai to Chinese check. We were inspired and we want to inspire. We opened a month ago and have managed to donate `1 lakh since the start of project,” Kiran shares with a sense of joy and pride.
Urban Eatery organised Swacch Secunderabad on December 27 where college students were encouraged to participate in the cleaning of Secunderabad and the food bill would be on Urban Eatery.
“Whoever volunteer to be a part can get food for free,” he informs.Let alone Swacch Secunderabad, they have spotted a few places in the city, which requires cleaning. “We are hiring people to clean those areas,” he adds.
Sarun also informed about the app, they are planning to come up with. “People want to donate, but don’t know how to. This app helps them donate. It could as small as Rs 10,” he shares.
Kiran and Sarun inform that their motto is not just to serve the country in their own fashion, but to also motivate others to take part in bringing a change.