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Hot Indian meals for Ottawa shelters on India's Republic Day


High Commission of India

Hot Indian meals for Ottawa shelters on India’s Republic Day

On the occasion of India’s 72nd Republic Day, High Commissioner of India to Canada HE Ajay Bisaria gifted hot Indian meals to people living in temporary city shelters and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, without access to proper cooking facilities. The meals were prepared by Chef Joe Thottungal and the distribution was supported by volunteers of Food for Thought Net Cafe, Ottawa. The meals were prepared in the kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel.

Due to pandemic conditions this year, India’s Republic Day celebrations, usually marked by large gatherings of the Indian community and friends of India, have been limited in deference to local public health norms. As a special gesture, 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. Part of this distribution was specifically earmarked for the well know Ottawa charity, Shepherds of Good Hope.

Chef Joe Thottungal is an acclaimed chef known for his innovative cuisine and a popular cookbook. Food for Thought Net Cafe is a recognized community organization working for the welfare of the vulnerable in Ottawa. During the current pandemic, they have teamed up to provide hundreds of free hot meals to people living in temporary shelters in Ottawa.

Addressing the volunteers and organizers, the High Commissioner thanked them and the frontline workers involved in inspiring service for the community. He said that the small gesture on part of the High Commission reflects the cherished Indian ethos of ‘seva’ or service to others and the civilisational philosophy of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’; the world is one family.
18 February 2021