The Roti Bank -- first of its kind in Maharashtra, and second in India after a similar venture in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh - was launched on December 5 by Yusuf Mukati, the founder of Haroon Mukati Islamic Centre (HMIC), on the busy Jinsi-Baijipura Road in the heart of the city.

"Over the years, I saw many poor people, especially Muslims, who can't afford one square meal a day... The situation is pathetic in large families with just one bread-winner. But because they live a dignified life, they do not resort to begging," Mukati told reporters.

Targetting many such poor and deprived families, the idea of a 'Roti Bank' crystallized -- and the 38-year-old Mukati made it clear that beggars would not be entertained here. After discussing with his wife Kauser, and his four married sisters - Seema Shalimar, Mumtaz Memon, Shehnaz Sabani, Huma Pariyani -- the 'Roti Bank' finally went 'public' with a modest 250 'depositors' on December 5.

Initially, curious passers-by would stop to ask about it but feel delighted to see it was a noble initiative. People have to fill up a form for Roti Bank's membership. "We allot them a specific code number. The request is simple -- Simply deliver us minimum freshly cooked two rotis and a plate of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food that they prepare for family at home daily," Mukati said.

Latest News from State News Desk