Written by Silpi Patnaik
Someone has said it right that “Papa! No matter how rich you are, I will always ask mom for food.” The association of mothers with food is eternal because they are privy to the magic of weaving a tapestry of love from the chemistry of a handful of agrarian produce!. No doubt we are slaves to food made with love and there can’t be anything more satisfying than a meal cooked and served by our dearest mothers. But modern times and evolved work cultures demand a mandatory separation from our families. Hence revelling in the delight of our mother’s fragrant Biriyani or that gorgeous Chicken Vindaloo or that ghee-dipped aloo Paratha or even that quaint Sattu concoction has become wishful thoughts. Each one of us, who stays miles away from his mother, survives amidst hunger doldrums craving for one single fulfilling meal that can compensate for all the dissatisfaction of his existence. Although there are numerous restaurants that have been catering to our hunger, delivery platforms rushing with food packages in the click of a button, pizza joints witnessing our hunger highs since years, yet none of them has ever spoke to our souls. They might have fed us to gills but none has ever left us contented like our mom-made meals. If this stuff sounds like food distress then there is a beam of light at the end of the tunnel, called MOM- Mothers On Mission.
MOM is a Bangalore-based food delivery start-up that functions with the force of non-earning mothers in its team to realizing its mission of providing satiety to the society by the power of mothers’ love. The enrolled mothers are expected to undergo the basic business structure of accepting a food order, preparing it in the freshness of their kitchen, handing it over to a carrier who finally delivers the love-wrapped carton to a customer craving for mom-made food. “In a place like Bangalore the sea of crowd consists of people who are away from their homes slogging blood, sweat and tears to make money. At the end of an enervating day all they truly hanker for is an understanding hug and what better to satisfy them than a loving meal from an affectionate mom”, say Sarthak Patnaik(Lawyer) and Sayed Nawrin(Software professional), the cofounders of MOM, a project which is refreshing, motivating and one of its kind. Young, energetic and dedicated Sarthak and Nawrin are geared by the vision to witness a happy world and they strongly believe that it can be achieved by empowering our mothers. “It is a unique platform that attempts to unite longing mothers with their craving children and vice versa and there cant be anything more appropriate than the medium of food”, says Nawrin with a glimmer in her eyes who let go a highly paid corporate job just to walk that extra mile in beholding a change happen.
MOM- a Model of Women Empowerment
The very name Mothers on Mission is self-explanatory and quite compelling for our times when everyone aspires to be a part of the accelerating motion of the feminist movement. MOM was born with one of the purest of intentions of offering an employable floor to the mothers of the concerned region who could gather their oft-neglected skill of cooking, put it into use towards the cause of feeding hungry stomachs and in the process earn remuneration for their labor. While mothers have been engaged in the grind of cooking and feeding within the confines of their homes since ages, their incessant efforts have hardly been reciprocated with
incentives. MOM has brought a paradigm shift in the conservative scenario by pulling under its banner as many as 520 mothers in Bangalore and an average of 50 mothers from a host of other cities like DelhiNCR, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack who are recognized as its bonafide employees and are engaged in its mission of cooking for a cause. “Once non-earning mothers experience the empowerment of entrepreneurship with the sheer dint of their efforts and become tiny spokes in the wheel of revenue generation, it will not only elevate the current position of Indian women but will also give a remarkable boost to the overall economy of our country. Because a penny earned by a mother is equal to hundred made by others. Mothers have always been the key budegeteers of our families and it would be revolutionizing to see them function as contributors to the economic pool of the country.”, says Sarthak, the key architect of MOM, who was a civil service aspirant but eventually decided to serve the public by being a selfless entrepreneur. On the other hand, employee moms are equally delighted to join the workforce. One of the mom chefs, who was exhilarated to be a part of the MOM(Bangalore) project, opened up her heart in a tete-a-tete with Sarah Yunus, the Digital Marketing Manager and said, “but, the job of cooking has stayed quite underrated in a typical Indian society. MOM breaks the rule. It promises that cooking won’t be thankless anymore. Any mother who cooks, yearns to make a living out of her culinary craft and looks forward to serving many pining people can join MOM and witness her age-old dream flourish into reality.” Every other employee of MOM bears a similar spirit in her consciousness and is thrilled to have found such an encouraging start.
The Social Dimension of MOM: A Promising Vision
MOM, a Start-Up India recognized food delivery project, also operates on a long-term social perception. MOM understands the magnitude of food struggle people have to undergo every single day and therefore aims at bringing to doorsteps the warmth and health of a mom-cooked lunch or dinner that is very reasonably priced. “Tagged prices are evaluated and special care is taken so that no food item appears too exorbitant or too exotic to be afforded for during regular meal hours. “, says Geeta Shree, the Executive Manager of MOM. Additionally, what sets MOM apart is the variety of traditional recipes prepared by mom-entrepreneurs in an authentic fashion. It is one of the remarkable attempts by MOM to provide us with our snug nostalgic comfort foods and at the same time hold alive some exquisite dishes of the country that are gradually getting lost and forgotten with the passage of time. MOM’s catalogues could serve as culinary documents to be recorded for the posterity. This endeavor of MOM to protect the rich culinary history of India before it dies a natural death is driven by social concerns and is therefore a very enlightened approach for a modern day food start-up.
Although food delivery services have been mushrooming in India and ordering food to the tables isn’t a big deal anymore, yet there has always been a gap in the satiety quotient of people at a very subliminal level. The society is frenzied, chaotic and in a constant state of angst and the root cause of this invisible turmoil lies deep down in the soul that can be eased through Food. Probably this is the reason why restaurants are invariably crowded irrespective of time and space. Learned minds working at MOM understand the psychological dimension of food and have therefore emerged with this unusual idea of making mothers the center and circumference of their mission. They believe that a society fed with love will experience a feel–good factor in the deepest recesses of its being. People will become restful and poised which will eventually lead to increased effectiveness and improved levels of performance. Such a vision might appear a little far-fetched in the beginning but we can visualize that a project like MOM will have far reaching impacts. Surely, we all know that just the fragrance of a mom-made meal is enough to fill our hearts and minds with indomitable energy, let alone our tummies.
Mothers on Mission- Independent and Inspiring
MOM stands on its own two feet with the intensive and relentless work of its core members. All fundraising is internal flowing in from the financial contributions of the co-founders and it has never rested on the crutches of investors. “It has its very own resources of delivery people called as ‘Delivery Jets’ who along with DUNZO, their delivery partner, stay alert round the clock and travel every nook and corner to dish out hot, healthy, hygienic food to the beloved customers”, recounts Mohd. Kaleem Ullah, the Outdoor Manager of MOM.
Though blueprints of MOM were on paper since 2019, yet MOM saw the light of day on 26th January, 2020 with sponsoring food for 200 women bikers in the grand Women Biking Program organized by She for Society at Palace Ground on the event of the Republic Day. Mom chefs came together to prepare wholesome lunch packages for the exhausted bikers, who sank their teeth into a fulfilling meal after a rigorous noon and were glad to experience a homelike environment functioning around them.
MOM comes as a fresh lease of life amidst selfish business and the countless progeny of selfish businesses everywhere. We hope and pray that the spirit of this delivery service, operating from White Field, Bangalore, never gets injured. And we also wish that the vision of the founders to turn the very term “mom” into a designation and mothers into celebrities is realized with full momentum. More power to selfless entrepreneurship, where according to Sarthak and Nawrin “all that matters is unyielding dedication, unrelenting sincerity and an uncompromising moral standard.”