In the past two months, Vikas Khanna, a Michelin-starred chef, has turned his focus to India’s hungry, providing millions of meals to poor Indians who have suffered greatly under the coronavirus lockdown. … As parts of India slid into a humanitarian crisis in recent months, with millions of out-of-work people desperate for food, Mr. Khanna watched the news from his apartment in Manhattan and grew despondent.
“We’ve totally failed our people,” he said in an interview last week. “I wanted to show that solidarity still exists.”… Mr. Khanna, 48, is a Hindu, but growing up in Amritsar, a northern Indian city with many Sikhs, he was inspired by the large community kitchens of the Sikh Gurdwaras. They serve meals to anyone who needs them. As a disabled child with a club foot, he said, “I had no friends, only sympathizers.” So he whiled away the hours in the family kitchen with his grandmother, learning to cook.
In early April, he posted an emotional appeal on Twitter, asking people to send him details of those who were desperate for food. Mr. Khanna has a huge following in India, and within hours, he was flooded with replies. … Mr. Khanna said his initiative had distributed more than seven million packets of dry food and cooked meals over the past month in more than a hundred cities in India.