By Jess Paton
The India Restaurant and Bar in Tuakau gave away free meals from 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm on Sunday 4 March. The free food was aimed at those that were unable to cook for themselves or couldn’t afford a meal.
Mukesh Sharma, director, said they did it because the community is everything. “We started our journey four years ago and they help us to continue.”
There were more than one hundred meals made and the restaurant gave away all of them. After announcing the free meals on their Facebook page, many people responded, praising the restaurant for what they are doing and how thoughtful and sincere the gesture was.
“We will definitely be doing it again,” said Mukesh. “We have to think about those that are struggling. We have to help them. This is the main thing.” Mukesh said it’s a good way for them to know how many needy people there are in the area. “We would never know otherwise.”
Rajan, one of the managers, described one lady who came in that needed food for her child’s fifth birthday. “She couldn’t afford anything and so we gave her a whole lot of takeaways and she was very grateful! Another lady who came in was unable to cook for herself and her husband who had cancer and she also was very thankful for the free meal.”
“It feels good to us. It gives us satisfaction. We are always ready to help in the community.” The feeling of giving back to the community is extra special for the team members at Tuakau India because it’s part of their culture. The restaurant even donates to various different charities, including the local Lions Club.
Rajan explained that they would like to “maybe have afternoons where we give away free water to people. We often get people coming in asking for water.” In the future the restaurant would also like to start having free meals for children or adding on free chips to a meal for kids.
“Everyone is most welcome. They can come here and we will give to them,” exclaimed Mukesh. There is another branch of the India Restaurant and Bar in Waiuku, made possible only because of the community. Last year India Waiuku gave away free food to people with disabilities for a whole month and there were over 15 people there each day.
The India Tuakau does takeaway or dine in meals. Visit: www.theindiarestaurant.co.nz/