News and Events News, Events, and Press Release

Hot Indian Meals for Diwali for Ottawa’s distressed

High Commission of India


Sub: Hot Indian Meals for Diwali for Ottawa’s distressed


For the Festival of Lights this year, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa gifted hot Indian meals to the less fortunate of the city. In celebration of the festival of Diwali, the Indian High Commission joined ‘Food for Thought Net Café’ to distribute free hot meals to people living in temporary city shelters and those impacted by the current pandemic, without access to proper cooking facilities. India’s High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria was joined by Member of Parliament from Nepean Chandra Arya. The meals were prepared by Chef Joe Thottungal and the distribution was supported by volunteers of Food for Thought Net Café, Ottawa founded by Chef Sylvain de Margerie. The meals were prepared in the kitchen of the elite Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel located in the heart of the city.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, the celebrations of the festival of Diwali, usually marked by festivities and gaiety with family and friends, have been limited in deference to the public health norms mandated by Canadian authorities. As a special gesture, this Diwali the Indian High Commission in Ottawa decided to support the most vulnerable and needy on the occasion by providing them with high quality Indian food.

Chef Joe Thottungal, who runs the Thali & Coconut Lagoon restaurants, is an acclaimed chef, well-known for his innovative cuisine. Food for Thought Net Café is a recognized community organization working for the welfare of the vulnerable in Ottawa.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have teamed together to provide thousands of free hot meals to people living in temporary shelters in Ottawa.

Launching the event, High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria thanked the volunteers and frontline workers for their selfless service to the community and wished everyone a joyous and happy Diwali. He said that the small gesture on part of the High Commission reflected the Indian ethos of giving, sharing and empathising with the pain of others.



20 November 2020