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photo: Akshaya Trust
If you're tired of turning on the news just to find another heart wrenching tale of despair, look no further. A recent story on CNN told the tale of Narayanan Krishnan, a former chef in a five star restaurant in India who was interviewing for lucrative culinary positions in Europe. But that all changed when decided to make a quick trip home to his native Madurai, a small community in south India, before leaving to interview for a position in Switzerland. Krishnan was so disturbed by the image of poverty in his own community; he began to realize another dream in the making. Narayanan Krishnan was so troubled by the image of an elderly man in his community eating his own waste out of desperate hunger, that a week later he quit his job in a 5 star restaurant to feed the hungry in his own community. Krishnan founded the nonprofit, Akshaya Trust in 2003 and today he feeds nearly 400 people daily. At only 29 years old, Krishnan has fed over 1.2 million meals to the hungry, according to CNN.
According to Krishnan, people are so desperately poor in his community, that they kick their own family members, often the mentally ill, out on the street. He cares for the community's forgotten by feeding them three meals a day and in some cases, helping to bathe and cloth them. The program has grown significantly from when Krishnan established it in 2002. The first year the nonprofit served 3,600 meals and last year it served 360,000 meals.
"The panic, suffering of the human hunger is the driving force of me and my team members of Akshaya," he said. "I get this energy from the people. The food which I cook ... the enjoyment which they get is the energy. I see the soul. I want to save my people."
The organization is run on totally public support and no government funding. The cost per day to feed his community is around $327. His donations don't completely cover the cost, so the remaining cost is covered from the rent he receives from a small house his grandfather gave him. He sleeps in the nonprofit's kitchen with his coworkers.
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