I watched a repeat of Russell Howard’s Good News on BBC3 (from March 2011)earlier this evening as I sat down to a beautiful feast of Mexican food prepared by The Boy Wonder. I sat chuckling away at Russell’s irreverent humour, mildly entertained, until his final story of the week came on. Russell always ends his show with a feature called ‘It’s not all doom and gloom’ with uplifting stories from around the world.
This week’s story had me in tears at one man’s compassion.
When gifted chef Narayanan Krishnan visited his home town of Madurai, India in 2002, he was shocked to see the poverty that people were living in.
“I saw a man, eating his own waste as food” in stark contrast to the haute-cuisine he was preparing in the exclusive hotel he worked in, explained Krishnan.
After seeing the terrible state of people, 21-year-old Krishnan felt he couldn’t go back to working in lucrative overseas restaurants with a clear conscience so he decided to remain in India and cook for the man he’d seen and many others.
In 2003, Krishnan founded the Akshaya Trust – a non-profit organisation named after a Hindu myth of the Akshaya bowl which is said to be a bottomless bowl which will feed the hungry forever – which is what Krishnan hopes to do.
Every morning, Krishnan and his team get up at 4am and search throughout a 123-mile radius for homeless people and provide them with hand-prepared vegetarian meals. Krishnan has about 400 “regulars” whom he delivers food to as well as providing free beard trims and haircuts when required.
Since starting the organisation, Krishnan has provided over a 1.2 million meals. He says the meals are “nutritious for the body, the haircuts and love are nutritious for the soul.” Many of the people he provides help to are mentally ill and cannot thank him but he says the pleasure he gets from helping is enough.
What an amazing guy. He makes me want to get involved in something similar and help all of the people who are suffering.
For more information about Akshaya Trust, please visit http://www.akshayatrust.org/