This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by ishan arora. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why You Need To Think Twice Before Throwing That Chapatti Into The Dustbin

More from ishan arora

By Ishan Arora:

It is said that “wasting food is a sin and a crime”. But do we really believe in this quote? Do we really understand the importance of not wasting food?

Today, while having dinner at my mess, I saw hundreds of people wasting food. I was sitting alone so I started contemplating, “There are thousands of people in the world who die because of hunger every day and here we are paying 40 thousand per annum and, yet, wasting food like anything.”

There could be three possibilities, among others, to explain this negligent attitude:

Possibility 1: We don’t respect food and feel that since we’re paying for it anyway, so we have every right to waste it.

Possibility 2: We are self-centred and selfish and we don’t give a hoot about who is dying or who is not.

Possibility 3: We are ignorant and we don’t know how wasting our food is linked to people dying across the globe.

Whatever the reason may be, the result is the same: wastage of food and threat to the lives of many. Especially for the third category, here are some important facts.

Some Facts About Food Wastage

Hence, it is quite evident from the above facts that food wastage not only leaves hungry people behind but also affects the nation’s economy and environment at a macro level as well.

To explain this point better I would like to take a hypothetical example: A farmer works really hard under Sun throughout the year to produce wheat. A lot of water, manpower, agricultural tools, electricity, logistics, distribution costs, deforestation etc. is required before those wheat grains reach our plate in the form of a chapatti. Now, it seems we don’t think twice before dumping it. As a result, everything that goes into making/processing that chapatti is wasted. According to reports, the actual worth of the food wasted in India annually is estimated at a whopping Rs. 58,000 crore.

After reading all this, I do feel bad. But what do I do as an individual? How can I optimise the wastage of food?

Here are few recommendations that would help you decrease food wastage:

  • Take what you can eat:
    The most important thing is to take on your plate only what you can eat. We humans always know our food preferences and capacity we just need to examine ourselves. To do that, I would recommend you start observing your food habits. Take less food on your plate initially and within a week you will know the optimum quantity you can consume.
  • Make finishing the food on your plate a habit. Try to inculcate it further in as many people around you as you can.
  • Respect food. Consider yourself lucky for getting it every day. Make sure to thank God before you begin eating.
  • Try to feel or imagine what it’s like to truly starve. I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food.


It is said that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. For us, wasting food is normal but for someone who hasn’t eaten anything for the past few days, it’s a treasure. By wasting food we are not only playing around with their lives but we are also depleting our own environment as shown above. Hence, in every way, it is a true menace to society. Being responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to act more proactively and minimise food wastage. Alone, we can still do a bit. But together, we can bring a huge change and make the world a better place to live.


Featured image for representation only. Credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images.
You must be to comment.
  1. Akanksha Gupta

    Food wastage is an important issue and we don’t pay much heed to it. Food is one of the basic necessity for living.But still in India, many are there who don’t get enough food to eat and sleep hungry.We sitting at our home having 3 to 4 meals a day.

    According to India Foodbanking Network, India is home to the largest undernourished population in the world
    189.2 million people i.e. 14% of our population is undernourished
    20% of children under 5 are underweight
    34.7% of children under 5 years of age are stunted
    51.4% women in the reproductive age (15-49 years) are anaemic

    We Indians have big fat wedding whatever may be the budget u can see a lot of variety and food stalls. I belong to Baniya family where its a common sight especially when it’s your daughter or son’s wedding. As it was said, Food is the thing which people remember for years.
    But when its time to eat we want to try everything and we fill our plate with variety of food and ended up liking few, throwing rest of the food.If 1000 people attended a wedding how much wastage is done and other than that bulk leftover is also there which is usually thrown to animals or dustbin because of low shelf life.Its a total wastage of money,effort and food.If the same food is served to poor they dont have to sleep hugry.
    In my town there is one such NGO i dont know the name exactly if u give them a call they will come immediately and take all the food which is left and distribute it to slums.I. feel this a very good idea and which should be promoted and many more should come forward in this movement.One more idea i want to express that there should be signpost or banners setup near food stalls in every function indicating a message to take as much as u can eat dont fill the plate and throw it later in a quirky or hillarious way. In this manner we put small message in everyone’s mind and surely it will make a difference.

    “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life”.

More from ishan arora

Similar Posts

By Aditya Lakshmi

By Aastha Maggu

By Puja Bhattacharjee

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below