COVID-19 outbreak has created an unprecedented hunger crisis across the world. According to the World Bank estimates, 71 million people were propelled into extreme poverty globally due to the coronavirus outbreak.
From distributing home-cooked meals to ration kits to safety kits, the people of this nation did their best by offering their selfless services amid the pandemic.
Among those COVID warriors are three brothers Zeeshan Javid, Zufishan Pasha and Shehzar Sheriff from Bengaluru. They came up with an idea called “Mission Milk” to feed poor children who were languishing during the COVID lockdown.
Inception of Mission Milk
Zeeshan finished his masters in Australia and now runs a chain of co-working spaces, Zufi completed his under-graduation and runs a chain of serviced apartments, and finally Shehzar, he finished with Mechanical Engineering and currently working at a tech startup - and all the three brothers live and work in Bangalore.
The three brothers wanted to make a difference by offering some help to society. And that gave rise to Mission Milk.
The idea was initiated by three brothers in April 2020 during the lockdown time. They realised that, though ration kits and food packets were distributed across the city to evacuate the hunger adversity, the needs of infants, kids, and toddlers were left behind.
Milk is the basic source of nutrition for kids, the trio decided to help the kids meet their vital needs through their mission.
“It worked well for us as it is easily available anywhere and even cost wise, it was within our capacity to afford, being fresh graduates from college and just starting off our professional lives”, the brothers said.
Adaptive Working Model
In the beginning, the brothers bought 50 litres a day with their personal savings, and later, by the end of last year’s lockdown, they managed to gather upto 500 litres a day. On good days, they supplied up to 3000 and 4000 litres. The regular supply of milk rescued the kids and migrants from starving.
As the mission grew, friends, families, and volunteers started volunteering to show their support for this idea. And the people who aided Mission Milk, the trio called them “Milk Angels”.
They then identified a parlour who can supply milk in large quantities, and filtered down to Nandini Dairy Parlour. After a discussion, they came up with the best price that’s a win-win for both the mission and the milk supplier.
“We have set up our process in such a way, where volunteers from any part of Bangalore can help out without having to leave their localities and travel to a central location to pick up the milk. All they have to do is find the closest Nandini milk parlour (as they are easily available across the city and are a state wide recognised brand), or even the closest shop selling Nandini milk to them and procure the milk at Rs 38, share the copy to us on WhatsApp and mission milk will clear the bill through UPI or bank transfer to the vendor directly”, shared Shehzar about their mission model.
He further said, “The only requirement we have is for the physical copy to be saved and kept as it is required for our filing and accounting purposes and distribution photos are to be taken as we use that to provide updates to our donors, without whom none of this would be possible.”
The amount of milk they purchased was based on the survey data they have collected that shows the number of families and children present in a particular area. “By doing so, ensure the milk is picked close to the distribution location. Plus, there is minimal or close to zero wastage of milk or time between procurement and distribution”, remarks the trio.
Collaboration with NGOs
To expand their works, Mission Milk collaborated with several NGOs across Bangalore who are already carrying on with their relief work like distributing ration kits, cooked-meals, groceries, since the pandemic. Along with that, they tied up with some established networks, dedicated volunteers, and higher authorities to carry on with their mission smoothly.
While the mission became successful, the trio decided to take it to the next level. So, they came up with another initiative, i.e. to supply milk to orphanages and child care centers on a daily basis across Bangalore.
“During the 2021 lockdown, we scaled up our operations to 800L daily and also expanded the areas where we distribute. Post-lockdown, we gave all the settlements a buffer period of 2 weeks to get back on their feet. As of now we are providing orphanages and children homes across Bangalore on a daily basis”, said the trio.
The brothers' vision is to convert this mission into a movement to encourage youth to start taking social responsibility, help the country in building a better future, and be an example for the coming generation, particularly children. “We have put out a complete guide as to how our operations work on our social media with the intention of encouraging people to replicate this model and take up the initiative in their localities/cities so that little by little we can cover entire cities and hopefully one day the country”, concludes Shehazar with an emboldening note.