An orange and navy blue truck seen plying on the streets of Washington DC in US these days has emerged as a source of hope for the homeless and the poor. Started by a Sikh, the truck, which famously goes by the name ‘Seva Truck’, takes its inspiration from the popular ‘langar’ (community kitchens). Sporting […]
An orange and navy blue truck seen plying on the streets of Washington DC in US these days has emerged as a source of hope for the homeless and the poor.
Started by a Sikh, the truck, which famously goes by the name ‘Seva Truck’, takes its inspiration from the popular ‘langar’ (community kitchens). Sporting a message saying, ‘DC has the nation’s highest rate of food insecurity among children. Twenty five percent of our veterans experience food insecurity. Our Mission: Combat Hunger. Serve Humanity’, the truck plies on the road distributing free hot meals to the needy.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Sonny Kakar, 46, the man behind the idea says, “It was originally the wish of my 74-year old father Devinder Kakar to do something for the homeless. We left India years ago. I was just five when my family shifted to US from Delhi. Sikhism teaches us to not let anyone sleep hungry and serve langar. My ancestors were from Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan). My father was the happiest man on the earth the day we inaugurated this truck and he saw poor having a hearty meal.”
Working with a cyber security firm in US, Kakar explains the concept saying, “Initially, we have spent $75,000 (Rs 50.35 lakh approx) on this truck. It has an in-built kitchen and a window from where meals are served. We are serving 250 meals a day on an average currently. The plan is to increase it to 50,000 a day. Also, we are targeting 20 such trucks in US by 2020 to combat hunger. Apart from the homeless, truck is also plying in areas comprising deprived senior citizens, orphans and ex-servicemen.”
Kakar also acknowledges the help that has poured in from local Sikh community in the US. “My friends – Gurpal Bhullar, Anu Kaur, Rubin Paul Singh – have helped me at every step in starting this free-meal service,” he said.
Speaking about the menu it offers, Kakar said that the truck though serves pure vegetarian meal but its not Indian. “Since people we are serving are mostly American, we have to go by their taste. Italian pasta and Mexican tortillas are served generally. On several occasions, we also serve cookies, ice creams while cheese, eggs and potatoes are served for breakfast. On the occasion of Baisakhi, we dished out cheese quesadilla; chips, salsa and guacamole; mandarin, ice cream and red sauce pasta,” said Carol Barbosa Jeliazkov, a Brazilian, working with group.