Khana Ghar: Rs3 for a square meal

Published: October 31, 2013
A screen grab of Parveen Saeed from the video.

A screen grab of Parveen Saeed from the video.

Ascreen grab from the video showing 
children waiting in line to get food. A screen grab of Parveen Saeed from the video.

With millions living under the poverty line in Pakistan, Khana Ghar (The home of food) strives to provide food at affordable price to the needy.

Parveen Saeed, who holds a master’s degree in journalism, has been running the project for almost 23 years, providing food to the poor of Karachi at an affordable price.

Recounting how it all started, Saeed said she used to take home-cooked food to these localities where one could get a square meal for just Rs3. Explaining the concept behind charging a minimal amount for food, Saeed said it was to make sure that people who ate there did not take the meals for granted, and would strive to earn the food for themselves and their families.

The menu at Khana Ghar keeps changing, sometimes it is lentils (daal), sometimes its vegetables, on other days its beans while, Sunday is reserved as meat day.

First established in Surjani Town, the project was shifted to Khuda ki basti only a year later. Food is also delivered to poor localities like Vehari, Gulshan-e-Subhani Phase II, where as many as 300 people are fed on daily basis.

“Never thought this would become such a huge project that people will recognise it by name, as people are coming together and contributing towards the project,” exclaims Saeed.

She says that they are trying to build Khana Ghars in all the poor localities of Karachi.

Saeed added that if government wants, it can carry out a similar project very easily. “Every year billions of rupees are collected under Zakat deduction, government also have the Baitul Maal (the welfare fund) which it can utilise to provide food and ration to the needy ones.”

This film is part of Black Box Sounds production, an initiative specializing in production aimed at social and development issues, behavior change communication and mass awareness since 2006. For further information, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Oct 31, 2013 - 11:21PM

    Beautiful. May God bless her.


  • mehboobBhai
    Nov 1, 2013 - 12:02AM
  • Nov 1, 2013 - 12:41AM

    What a positive step. This woman deserves nothing but our utmost respect for playing such a phenomenal part for us.
    On the topic, where are the apathetic elite of the country now who own all the food mills, industries etc.
    Is it too heavy on their pockets to feed the ones starving?Recommend

  • Zayyad
    Nov 1, 2013 - 12:46AM

    Charging a minimal symbolic amount is a perfect idea..every one should strive to his or her maximum, to gain something.
    This is the picture of of a model muslim,that needs to be projected,and not the one where one knows a lot of ‘theory’, but fails in the ‘practical’ test.


  • Nov 1, 2013 - 12:56AM

    It is so good to read a stroy like this. Hats off to Parween Saeed who has been providing inexpensive and quality food for the poor people. Thanks for your efforts.

    Abdul Quddus
    DET-United States Central Command


  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 1, 2013 - 1:02AM

    She is a real human being in Pakistan.

    May Al-Mighty Allah Bless Her.


    Nov 1, 2013 - 1:33AM

    I saw this lady on TV a few years ago when Dawn was an English News Channel. Simply put… she is an inspiration to me. Not that I want to blow my horn here, she is the reason that I want to start to feed the hungry program in India; so help me GOD!

    This lady needs all the support she can get, ET could you kindly let me know her details. I would like to make a small contribution to her efforts and I would request commenters and readers to please contribute – every rupee goes a long way here guys! So c’mon dig deep in your pockets and help people eat!

    ET to please promote this story a lot more. Please, please, please Lets stop the hunger!


  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 1, 2013 - 2:10AM

    great lady may allah bless her.


  • Karachiwala
    Nov 1, 2013 - 2:13AM

    ET please forward some details like bank account so we can contribute as well.. hats off to this lady Thanks


  • Zeeshan
    Nov 1, 2013 - 4:27AM

    How should one donate to this?


  • Raj Kafir
    Nov 1, 2013 - 9:23AM

    Hats off to her. Data Darbar, Lahore and Sikh Gurdwaras around the world offer absolutely free food to every one who visits the shrines. Answer to eradication of hunger is only found in the East. Way to go Parveen. A big GOD bless.


  • sam
    Nov 1, 2013 - 9:28AM

    Hats off to this lady. People like her are a beacon of light and deserve to be among the heroes of the world ! Respect

    Just saw that they a website as well: http://www.khanaghar.orgRecommend

  • antanu
    Nov 1, 2013 - 2:08PM

    first be brave enough to disclosr ur true identity…


  • Manahyl Khan
    Nov 1, 2013 - 2:43PM

    for donations u can email her, got it from her website


    Nov 1, 2013 - 7:13PM

    @antanu: Why? Would you like to kiss my rear if I revealed my identity?
    I don’t need a certificate of bravery from anyone, let alone you. Recommend

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