Meet the Man behind Sani Welfare Foundation - Azhar Maqsusi

Very quietly, Azhar Maqsusi says, “Meri walida kehti hain ki hamesha apna dil doosron ke liye saaf rakho. Aage wala aapke saath kaise bhi rahe, aap hamesha unke saath ache se rahiye. Dekho baba, apne ko nahi raha toh nahi raha, magar apne hisse mein se kisi aur ko bhi baantoge, toh upar wala apne ko achi sehat aur achi izzat dega. Ek hissa acha karenge, upar wala 10 guna aapke liye acha karega.” (My mother always says, be honest with and good to all, no matter how another person behaves with you. Even if we don’t have much, sharing whatever we have with others in need, will reap great rewards; ten times more than the help you offer.)

The man behind Sani Welfare Foundation is a quintessential benign looking calmness personified gentleman – Azhar Maqsusi. The calmness is his voice quivers only when he reminisces that ill-fated day when a handicapped lady under a bridge moved him deeply. Desolate with hunger, Laxmi approached him with an outstretched hand, begging for some food, not money; she hadn’t eaten in days. And that day, in that moment, Azhar’s life purpose was revealed to him.

Hunger was not new to Azhar. When he was only four, his father, an auto driver, passed away. His mother struggled to care for him and his three siblings. He stopped going to school at the age of 10 and took up odd jobs to support his family.
Azhar remembers with pain his childhood – days spent by Azhar and his siblings listening listlessly to the rumbling sounds in their stomach with no food to eat. These memories and experiences are an integral part of Azhar’s personality and possibly the source of his life’s calling of feeding the hungry.

In 2001, Azhar started a Plaster of Paris unit which remains his only source of income even till date. Azhar spend close to 50%-70% of his waking time on working towards his life’s calling. A normal day in Azhar’s life doesn’t go by without feeding the needy.

He is frequently invited to leadership summits, colleges and universities to speak about his extensive work on eradication of hunger. He has given hundreds of motivational speeches at schools, colleges and conferences; and is also a TedX Speaker. 

Having expanded his food distribution program to 6 cities in India, Azhar breathes a sigh of relief as he reminisces how he continues to meet like-minded people at the right time facilitated by Divine Providence, which allows him to continue on his noble mission without obstacles.