The deadly pandemic has brought many cape-less superheroes to the forefront, among whom is Chef Vikas Khanna who has been relentlessly delivering dry ration across the country. By Bayar Jain

 

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While most chefs are taking to the internet to help us all become better cooks during our #StayIn period with series like #TnlTasteOfTheWorld, Chef Vikas Khanna has gone out on the streets to help those in need. Ever since the nationwide lockdown was announced more than a month ago, the Indian Michelin star Chef has been delivering dry ration across the country.

 

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Posting daily updates of this philanthropic move on his social media – a side of his that has been well established in society through his countless humanitarian activities over the years – Chef Khanna has so far donated over 400 quintal dry ration across 60 cities. This distribution is not restricted to just the more urbanised spaces, but even in places like Jodhpur, Meerut, Mijwan, Dharamshala, Sirsa, Kholapiur and more.

 

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Although the chef himself is based out of New York, he has been reaching out for volunteers via his Twitter handle, and helping with the deliveries in collaboration for Smile Foundation – of which he is also the goodwill ambassador; the Akshaya Patra Foundation; and CII Foundation. To ensure proper distribution, he is also working alongside the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

 

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Dry ration aside, this cookbook writer has also pledged to and successfully distributed cooked meals, hygiene kits, sanitary napkins, and personal protective gears (PPE) across the length and breadth of the country as well. These deliveries are being made to old-age homes, orphanages, ashrams, hospitals, or anyone who is in need. Of the many contributions he has made so far, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar took to the internet to thank him for one in particular – contributing 1,000 PPE kits to the staff of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, a hospital built in memory of the singer’s late father.

 

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This, however, is not the first instance of Chef Khanna stepping up in times of crises. Earlier in 2001, he founded the South Asian Kid’s Infinite Vision (SAKIV) that, in collaboration with other charitable institutions, focusses on worldwide issues like tsunami relief and hurricanes. He has even pledged to raise USD one million to support the cause of malnutrition in India.

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