Northampton student lives off £1 a day for food campaign

Robert Masnica, his Raleigh team and villagers in India
Robert Masnica, his Raleigh team and villagers in India

A student lived on a £1 a day for nearly a week after a trip to India showed him what it was like to live in extreme poverty.

Robert Masnica, a 20-year-old law student at Northampton College, last week completed his ‘Live Below the Line’ campaign to raise awareness of the reality of starvation and water scarcity for those living below the poverty line.

During the campaign, Mr Masnica, who lives in Margaret Street, near the Mounts in Northampton, allowed himself no more than £1 a day to spend on food and drink for five days.

He said: “By the middle of the Monday it was already getting difficult and towards the end I started to feel really ill.

“I mainly ate noodles and Scotch eggs, holding off from eating until 6pm and trying to sleep and keep myself distracted as much as possible.

“But as soon as it got to midnight on Friday, I was out to get a takeaway.

“It was a hard experience that opened my eyes to the food variety we have here and it made me think about all the people who have to live like this every day.

“It’s amazing how much difference just £1 can make.”

Mr Masnica’s ‘Live Below the Line’ idea followed a 10-week volunteering trip to Matesh Palya, near Bangalore, India, at the end of 2013.

During the visit, he and a team of 10 built sanitary facilities, public bins, drinking troughs for cattle and renovated a community hall.

He said: “I would love to do it all again and am considering a possible career change to similar charity work.

“I will definitely be doing more volunteering in the future and would recommend it to anyone.”

As part of the ongoing project, run by Raleigh International, Mr Masnica raised £800 in funding for the trip and is planning to do talks and presentations at schools around Northampton to continue raising awareness.

To find out more or to support him, visit