For cab driver Tejinder Pal Singh, an Indian residing in Australia, it’s a special occasion on the last Sunday of each month. After completing his 12-hour shift, he starts preparing a feast in his kitchen — about 80 kg of vegetarian curry and rice. He then spends the rest of his day feeding underprivileged people in the northern Darwin area. Tejinder funds the feast from his own pocket and he has been doing this for the past four years now.
He will be presented with the Australian of the Year Award on January 25, 2017 for his selfless work in the category ‘Australia’s Local Hero’.
According to The Times of India, after moving to Australia with his family in 2006, Tejinder fell victim to racial abuse while working as a cab driver. However, without getting aggravated, he calmly told the abuser that just because his faith requires him to cover his head, it does not make him any different from other human beings.
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He has now become an inspiration for many. Inspired by his work, three other groups in Australia have taken up the cause of distributing free food to homeless people on Sundays.
Tejinder has also found support of the Chief Minister of Northern Territory, Michael Gunner. In 2015, he was honoured as ‘Australian of the Day’ for his work.
While talking about the philosophy behind his ‘food van’, Tejinder says, “My religion says 10% of my income should go towards helping those in need and those who need to eat. It does not matter what religion they belong to or what country they come from.”
Get more updates about the Australian of the Year Awards here.