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Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna On Sikh Community's 'Dil Se Sewa' And Feed India Initiative

Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna On Sikh Community's 'Dil Se Sewa' And Feed India Initiative

Highlights

  1. Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna has been feeding millions of Indians
  2. Chef Vikas Khanna has started 'Feed India' project while he's in New York
  3. Chef Vikas Khanna thanks his Sikh roots for instilling high values
New Delhi: 

“Langar (community kitchen) in Gurdwara is a full circle. The person, who serves you, bends down and provides you food and the receiver takes it with two hands. And my grandmother used to say, if you want to have langar, you will have to go and cook as well. If you come here for the Prasad (offering), you can't just be walking away. You aren't exempt from your part in the cycle. You have to go back, clean and cook”, said, Vikas Khanna, Michelin star chef, restaurateur and humanitarian at the Dil Se Sewa telethon.

NDTV in collaboration with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has initiated a campaign ‘Dil Se Sewa, feeding millions' that focusses on the rich living tradition of food sharing as widely practised in ‘Langars' by the Sikh community. The campaign calls to contribute to help our langars feed people during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Chef Vikas Khanna who himself has been feeding millions of people in India through his ‘Feed India' initiative joined the campaign and spoke at length about serving food to people and about the Sikh community.

While sitting in New York, the Michelin star chef has been providing food to millions of people in India. Talking about how he manages it, Mr Khanna said,

Initially, I used to have a problem because when India wakes, it was time for me to go to sleep. I was extremely disoriented because I am extremely disciplined. So, I came up with the solution that I will change my whole body clock based on Indian timings.

Further talking about his initiative and elaborating on the work done so far, Mr Khanna said,

A few hours ago, we completed 18 million meals. It includes dry rations and cooked food. This has been challenging because of different requirements in different places. When we were feeding people in gas stations, it had to be cooked meals. Highways had to be cooked meals. Community centres, quarantine centres where cooking facilities are not available, we are providing cooked meals and places like old age homes, ashrams, leprosy centres, orphanages, where there are cooking facilities, we started doing dry rations which became easier for us.

Mr Khanna informed that the entire Feed India campaign is run on zero administrative costs. The team works only on brand collaborations and Mr Khanna himself takes regular reports. While going through pictures of Feed India, Mr Khanna saw a photo of a barefoot child who had come to collect food. The heart wrenching photo made him start a slipper drive as part of which almost two lakh slippers have been distributed. He said,

In Gurdwara, they take your slippers and then clean them and give it back to you. Somehow those small things stay in your mind. That missing slipper pinched me a lot. When I saw the photo, I tweeted and we initiated the work.

What started with the idea to provide a pair of slippers to one girl has now reached out to lakhs of people. The team has distributed almost 2 lakh slippers. 

All this is coming from the Sikh roots. So, thank you for instilling such high values in all our minds, signed off Chef Vikas Khanna.

Also Read: Be A Part Of Guru Sewa, Support Our Langars To Feed The Hungry During Coronavirus Pandemic

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About the Initiative

About the Initiative

Kushalta Ke Kadam, an initiative by NDTV and USHA, aims at empowering women from rural India and encourages them to become entrepreneurs by taking up sewing and training others in their respective communities. Since 2011 Usha Silai Campaign has trained more than 3.95 lakh rural women within five years, with 17,000 Silai schools, spanning over 9272 Indian villages in India.

 

Kushalta Ke Kadam in Season 4 has returned with new goals and vision. The new season will witness the establishment of the new cluster in Kashmir, apart from the existing four clusters setup last year. The women from volatile Kashmir will work with well-known fashion designer Rohit Bal and get an unique opportunity to learn from him and make clothes for him. The work done by the Silai School women will be presented at Lakme Fashion week 2019.

 

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In Pics

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching
Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Rebari girls grow up learning traditional embroidery, which along with their new found sewing skills developed at Usha Silai Schools, is helping them earn a living.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School has empowered many rural women to support their family and send their children to school.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The Usha Silai School, established in a small nondescript village that goes by the name of Kottai, is helping empower people from varied communities.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The all-inclusive Usha Silai School Programme covers the entire nation from hamlets tucked between hills to villages cast by the sea.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Vegetables farmers from the Mizoram hills earn very little given the topography of the area. Usha Silai Schools have played an important part in this region by skilling women to financially contribute towards their households.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School learner Lucy has trained seven other women in her community, helping them to become financially independent.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Women like Kaviben from the nomadic Rebari community are finally laying down their roots as they begin to gain financial independence and thereby stability through Usha Silai School.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, located in the Gujarat's Bhuj village, is enabling rural women to earn as much as Rs. 2,500-4,000 each month.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, in association with a Gujarat based NGO called Kala Raksha, is trying to bring about a Silai revolution in Bhuj.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Besides training other women from their community, many Usha Silai School learners have become entrepreneurs in their own right.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

With sewing becoming easily accessible and lucrative, the silai schools are also helping revive traditional motifs and designs.

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