Camerapersons: Athar Rather, Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
It’s a hot and sultry evening outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi when little Raju spots the all too familiar autorickshaw. But today, the auto doesn’t stop at the bus stand right outside the hospital. It drives past, just slowing down for a moment so that the people sleeping at the bus stand can see it.
On cue, little Raju and his friends start chasing the auto, their ‘momo wale bhaiyya’ is here.
"“Momo is a comfort food. They may not be able to get that ever. So, this is a chance for me to give them the momo experience and make them happy. This brings me peace and happiness. Knowing that some people are fed today, I can sleep well at night.”" - Zoheb Bhutia, Owner, MO mosquare
Since April 2021, Bhutia and his friends have been feeding plates of steaming dumplings or momos to almost 300 homeless people in Delhi – that’s almost 1,000 momos every night. And he does it for free.
"“While driving through AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital. I see all of them camped out. I wondered if they were there for a day. Then I realised they were there for months. It was really bad. They were sleeping right on the footpath. They had come for operations for the kids, which they couldn’t afford nor could they go back home. The least we could do is feed them and give them water." - Zoheb Bhutia, Owner, MO mosquare
'A Family of Momo Chefs'
Right before the second wave of COVID, Zoheb and his partners opened a momo joint in Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave area. But they couldn’t continue full-fledged operations due to the lockdown. The only option left was delivery. So now, the 1,000 momos are prepared every evening at this small restaurant for feeding the poor and the hungry. Zoheb and his family have had a long association with this Tibetan dish.
"“We have a hotel in Gangtok. This, they say, is the first hotel in Sikkim. The only food we served was momo. So, it’s from my great grandfather’s time that we have been making momo. And we wanted to give Delhi a taste of authentic momo.”" - Zoheb Bhutia, Owner, MO mosquare
A Viral Video
Sometime in early April, a video of Zoheb and his team distributing momos went viral on the social media pages of St Paul’s School, Darjeeling, Zoheb’s alma mater. Suddenly, help started pouring in from the school’s alumni association and other former students spread across the world.
"So, this is not just me, it’s a cause being supported by the whole school. Without them I couldn’t have continued for so long. The first day, we took 100 plates. But there were more than 100 people there. Many did not get food. Next day, when my friends heard about it, they wanted to donate as well. They paid for about 50 plates. Then someone else came up and offered to buy water and medicines. Slowly, it snowballed into this social media thing." - Zoheb Bhutia, Owner, MO mosquare
Around 10 every night, Zoheb and his team can be found outside AIIMS distributing momos, water, hand sanitisers and medicines.
"Right now, we don’t have any profit. But for my team and me, feeding the poor people of Delhi is better than earning." - Zoheb Bhutia, Owner, MO mosquare
To help Zoheb, you can send your contributions to:
Ac No: 50100221768940
IFSC Code: HDFC0002649
Branch: Stellar IT Park, Noida
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
. Read more on NEON by The Quint.Kaafi Real: Ramdev to Get Jabbed After Calling Allopathy ‘Stupid’A Plate of Momos – A Boy From Sikkim Feeds the Hungry in Delhi . Read more on NEON by The Quint.