Nici Wickes: The hungry and the heartbroken

By Nici Wickes

Snapshots from Mumbai. Photo / Nici Wickes
Snapshots from Mumbai. Photo / Nici Wickes

Each week as I write this food report I ponder which culinary topic or trend to focus on. As fate would have it I'm writing this on October 17 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which the UN designated in 1993 as a day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.

I can report we are nowhere near achieving that goal because this morning I took a walk past people for whom food is a mere hope, not a given. I am in India; Mumbai to be exact.

During my short walk I was repeatedly asked for money, and to some I gave, others I shooed away with faux impatience, hoping they wouldn't see the tears in my eyes. All were living on the street, most were children under the age of 10.

At its most basic, food is a necessity to sustain any human life. In sufficient quantities, it can nourish one's being, hence "comfort food". It is uncomfortable to consider that for many a lack of food is causing a daily, constant discomfort, creating a shrivelling, first of the mind, then of the body, and ultimately the human spirit. What will you do? Because this is happening where you are walking today.


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