Wednesday, September 7, 2011
FOOD AND COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
MY REFLECTIONS AND READING ON THE CURRENT INITIATIVE OF SHARING THE SAME FOOD IN OUR COMMUNITY AND A HUMBLE SALUTE TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE DEDICATING THEMSELVES TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
MORE SO IN BIG CITIES WERE THE LOGISTICS OF DISTRIBUTION IS A CHALLENGING TASK
Article : THE ROLE OF FOOD IN EMPOWERING THE COMMUNITIES - Phil Bartie Ph D
One aspect of community empowerment often overlooked in community development text books and teachings, is group eating ( our community encourages and fosters such group eating. we have it through out the year on different miqaats. The current initiative is unique, sharing the same food, irrespective of diverse social and economic standings !!)
As a social scientist can tell you, there is far more to food than its physical benefits of nutrition and health.
With whom we eat, when we eat, what we eat, where we eat and under what conditions we eat...... are all sociologically very significant.
(Under the present circumstances, we mumineen are well aware the niyat behind this community sharing of same food by all different strata of our community - the niyat is shifa e Kulli and umre darazi of our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) The miraculous speedy recovery of Aqa Moula (TUS) is a glowing 'Aya't' ( incontrovertible sign) of the benefits and power of this and other initiatives being undertaken in accordance with the irshadaats of A'li Qdr Molayee Muffadal Saifuddin saheb.)
The author of the article makes a very powerful point by stating that : ' If logic and nutrition were the only concerns, we would all eat worms !'
The word 'comensal' is derived from the Latin ( root Arabic word meaning to share) In sociology eating together the same food together develops solidarity and trust. The concept of comensality in sociology simply means that 'people eat together'
This post I am specially dedicating to my younger brother Mulla MohammadB Mulla FakhrudinB Lokhandwala of Pune, who is doing the khidmat in overseeing the distribution of tiffins in his Tanzeem mohalla.
The logistics of distribution in big metropolis is really a challenging task, and knowing the inherent strength and dedication of our community, these challenges will surely be overcome.
There are unconfirmed reports of setting up a modern centralized kitchen complete with distribution network in Mumbai. In my own city the logistics of delivery are being worked out.
In cities like Patna having 40 households and Cuttuck having around 20 households, things are relatively easy. In towns like Godhra and in my own Lunavada, where mumineen live in Mohallas, it is relatively easy.
It would be interesting to see how distribution system is worked out in big cities. Mumineen who are involved in this khidmat can share their views. It would be a motivating at the same time a learning experience for others.
In Pune there are talks undergoing with a mumineen caterer who will be cooking and overseeing distribution of 72 tiffins. Interesting !