The Goodzillas-3: Sharing the milk of human kindness


ByTanushree Sen

Three brothers from East Bengaluru started Mission Milk to provide free milk to the poor in Bengaluru when they saw a woman feeding her child with a bottle of warm
water, trying to trick the baby to believe it’s milk

A report by UNICEF published in April-end this year stated that due to the second wave, one in five children in India is malnourished. Despite India being the largest producer of milk in the world, Shehzar Sheriff, Zeeshan Javid and Zufishan Pasha, saw a woman living in a settlement near Bellahalli in April 2020, feeding her child a bottle of warm water, trying to trick the baby to think it was milk.

And thus, Mission Milk was born on April 13, 2020, an initiative that continues till this day to provide milk free of cost to the destitute.

Says Sheriff, a resident of Kamanahalli, “That one incident changed me and I realised how privileged most of us were. I knew I had to do something.”

Sheriff and his brothers decided to roll up their sleeves and get down to doing it themselves, at first. Simultaneously, they started a fundraiser on the crowd-funding platform, Milaap, in the same month.

They began to distribute milk packets to areas that housed the needy, especially children. Soon they were joined by volunteers. It started with just about 60 litres of milk a day. The team would first survey the area, and based on its needs, the nearest Nandini milk parlour would be contacted. As soon as a volunteer would collect the packets, the trio would transfer the money and milk packets would make their way to hungry mouths.

“We distributed around 500 litres of milk on an average during the lockdown last year,” he says.

Cut to April 2021. “This year, we increased our daily distribution to 700 litres. While last year we only worked with volunteers, this year we branched out to different NGOs such as The United Foundation, Vathsalya Charitable Trust, ProVision Asia, etc. With ProVision Asia, we helped them distribute GoodLife milk packets along with their ration kits to families with disabilities. With Vathsalya, we helped distribute eggs along with milk to the needy. Another company – IG International – gave us fruits to distribute along with our milk packets.”

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Sheriff and his team also started providing milk to around 10 different orphanages and children homes across Bengaluru.

“We also try and ensure that we don’t stop providing milk after a few days because that defeats the purpose. We try to provide it on alternate days or once in three days,” he says.

The support from donors has been overwhelming say the three brothers.

“We rely entirely on our fundraiser on Milaap. So far, we have raised over Rs 20 lakh, where 45 per cent of our donors are from Canada, New Zealand, UK, etc. Some of the milk vendors are also kind enough to subsidise the cost and give it to us,” says Sheriff proudly. The movement is massive now, with many nameless people doing their bit.

Sheriff and his team have also started to educate the destitute on covid and vaccination. “There is a lot of misinformation going around and we wanted to correct that.”

But despite the initiative’s success, Sheriff is not the least bit satisfied. “I want more people to get involved, especially the youth. Despite having achieved so much, we still face a lot of hurdles. Most people don’t want to do something for free nowadays, and it is difficult to get them involved. I want to do more. Every time we reach a new record, I set a new one,” he says.



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Sagar Biswas

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