New Delhi: Michelin star chef and restaurateur Vikas Khanna Tuesday announced 10 million meals for street vendors across India.
Khanna said, “Street vendors have been among the most important thread of society and provide food to millions of daily labourers…My next mission is to help these street vendors….They are just hanging by a thread. The pandemic is an unprecedented crisis and it is far from over.”
The Amritsar-born chef has already provided 25 million meals to people across India in the past four months through his initiative called ‘Feed India’.
Khanna first launched the initiative in April after a relief website he tried donating to turned out to be suspect.
Under the #FeedIndia initiative, which has partnered with the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), satellite kitchens have been set-up along highways and by road sides to help those heading home or stranded due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Khanna manages the efforts from New York.
The menu at these mobile kitchens is simple — khichdi and juice, which Khanna now plans to improvise upon.
“We have two kitchens in Noida and Mumbai and mobile kitchens that move across 135 cities in India,” Khanna explained. His first relief effort was for leprosy patients and people in old-age homes.
Discussing his food distribution drive during an interview with the BBC earlier, an anchor had suggested that Khanna understood hunger because he knew how “precarious it can be in India”.
Khanna had replied to this by saying: “…my sense of hunger didn’t come from India so much because I was born and raised in Amritsar and we have a huge community kitchen where everyone gets fed…My sense of hunger came from New York when I was struggling…it’s not easy rising as a brown kid who came to America with the dream of winning a Michelin star.”
Khanna has also pledged over two million meals for flood-affected people in Bihar and Assam.
More than 105 people have lost their lives in the Assam floods so far, while close to 16.5 lakh residents in 1,536 villages of the state were affected. Bihar has seen over 10 deaths and 53.67 lakh people getting affected.
There are a lot of challenges to support relief in flooded areas of Bihar & Assam (especially the remote ones)
But I pledge 2 million+ meals in the affected areas.
We will do best to our ability. #Faith #FeedIndia
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) August 1, 2020
On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan Monday, Khanna also announced that his team, along with Niine India (an organisation which spreads awareness about female hygiene), distributed over three million sanitary napkins across the country.
Today on the auspicious day of #RakshaBandhan I am proud to say that we crossed distribution of almost 3 Million Sanitary Pads around India. @NiineIndia
Thank you @PayalTulsiyan for being my spiritual sister on this mission. pic.twitter.com/7Didk88fBM
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) August 3, 2020
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