Getting a taste of life without food

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 December, 2008, 12:00am

Five King George V (KGV) students went without food for 40 hours to experience the hunger suffered by millions of children around the world.

The activity is expected to become an annual event at the school.

Sanchit Gupta led the team, which included Jess Ho, Dhairya Virani, Kouhei Mitsuhashi and Joanne Cho. They fasted from November 14 evening until the morning of November 16.

The Year 12 students raised more than HK$16,000 through the event. The money is enough to provide a year's worth of food for six children through the non-profit organisation World Vision.

A two-day fast is nothing like living in extreme poverty. But the students, who come from affluent families, said it was very difficult.

Here is a first-hand account of their first fasting experience:

Friday, 6pm:

'Excited to start!'

Friday, 10pm:

'Not feeling too bad yet, trying to keep busy but we're extremely nervous about what tomorrow will feel like.'

Saturday, 10am:

'It feels weird waking up on Saturday morning without a big breakfast. Slight signs of hunger are kicking in.'

Saturday, 1pm:

'We just skipped another meal but some friends have come to offer their support. According to them, we look 'extremely hungry'. We're into our second hour of playing Monopoly - trying to keep busy.'

Saturday, 4pm:

'More than half has been completed. With each hour, I get even hungrier. I have really started to realise how the children who go through their lives with no/very little food feel and the things they go through in their day-to- day lives.'

Saturday, 10pm:

'Day two's coming to an end. We are extremely hungry and therefore I am sleeping early - the longer I sleep, the less time I am hungry. The hardest part about day two was when parents ate pizza in front of us and the whole room smelled of pizza.'

Sunday, 10.30am:

'We've finally finished! Our first meal was none other than a McDonald's breakfast.'

Chronic hunger affects almost one billion people in the world, with two-thirds of them living in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

If you want to start a fasting campaign at school, you can e-mail Sanchit Gupta ( for advice