At the heart of the most challenging year in recent history is the awareness that there is a need to address critical issues not only within the travel industry but also around the world. The Coronavirus altered every landscape, both physical and emotional, and made even silver linings difficult to detect.
One issue that increased in severity this past year has been world hunger. According to ourworldindata.org, about 697 million people worldwide are severely food insecure. According to WHO even though a substantial amount of food is produced every day to feed the entire world, around 10% of the human race sleeps hungry. While 30% of food in the US is thrown away, hotels, restaurants, resorts and other destinations highlight their sustainability as part of their entire hospitality brand.
In response to Covid-19, the hospitality industry has certainly addressed the surfaces and the airspace guidelines, but since everyone on the planet is a potential traveler, more needs to be done to address the bigger issue of hunger.
Parwinder Singh, also known as ProSingh, a teenage entrepreneur, developer, and social media influencer is striving hard to develop technological solutions that can empower the world, and contribute to the formation of a better future. At the age of 16, he developed a fully functional app- Gooodr, with a vision to overcome hunger around his country. ProSingh, in the spirit of hospitality, has established a goal of eradicating hunger and malnutrition,
Gooodr is an easy to use app which allows restaurant owners to donate food with one click, and helps Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to find food donors around major cities. Once a partnership is reached, the NGOs can distribute food to people in need.
Parwinder Singh started learning about programming languages at the age of 13 with the help of Google and YouTube, and he launched his first app at the age of 15, “MoneyRewards” which focused on helping teenagers earn money by using their phones. Apart from a philanthropist, ProSingh has his start-up which provides help to small businesses to grow through social media platforms. At the early age of 16, ProSingh launched “InstaEASY,” which was built from scratch without any investments.
“In April 2018,” stated ProSingh, “I participated in a coding competition which was based on the theme, ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals’ which consisted of GOAL 2- Zero Hunger. As I deepened my research regarding this topic, I came across the various facts associated with global hunger and rates of malnutrition.” During the competition, ProSingh was able to develop a prototype of the app that won 1st prize. This win gave him the right degree of inspiration to get his app published. “I worked on the app for a month, developed a complete UI and database, and published it in May 2018. The app is currently used by restaurants in my city Pune and various NGOs to receive food.”
It is not surprising that such a forward-thinking young man comes from Pune, since Pune has taken several human-driven initiatives to become one of the most “livable” cities in India, according to The Ease of Living Index. Just two hours from Mumbai, Pune’s own sustainability comes from its natural surroundings as well as its human development to become a major cultural hub.
The initiative behind Gooodr has worked greatly in serving the needy and poor who suffer for a meal. Today, this app is being used by more than 20 restaurants that donate the excess food to the needy around the city of Pune. The next milestone will be for the app to aid around 1000 families per month.
The young generation will be the ones inheriting the planet, rich with resources as well as problems. The current catastrophes seem greater than any of the past, but if there is anything to learn from 2020 is that the resilience of the youth is the same resilience that brought us out of past catastrophes. ProSingh, and thousands of his contemporaries, through their ingenuity and care for sustainable practices, will be the ones to breathe hope into the travel industry and beyond.