| Canberra, Australia | 4 Nov 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Tejinder Pal Singh, a taxi operator who moved to Australia a decade ago, emerged as one of the local heroes of his newly adopted country.
The taxi operator, who cooks and distributes free food to the needy in Canberra, was recognised as the Northern Territory Australia’s Local Hero 2017.
“For the past four years, Tejinder Pal Singh has dedicated the last Sunday of each month to feeding poor and needy locals of northern Darwin.
“After a gruelling 12-hour shift driving a taxi, Tejinder spends five hours cooking up a storm in his kitchen, preparing 80 kilograms of vegetarian curry and rice which he then serves as a free lunch,” according to a note on Tejinder Pal shared at the award’s official website.
Tejinder Pal will join the other recipients as finalists for the national awards in Canberra on 25 January 2017.
His popularity has been so immense that even the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection appeared excited as it posted a social media status on the devout Sikh’s win, reports SouthAsia.com.
“Congratulations Tejinder Pal Singh, winner of the 2017 Northern Territory Local Hero Award. We proudly sponsor Australia’s Local Hero Award and encourage you to take the time to recognise the selfless contributions our local heroes make to their communities,” the department said in the post.
The Australian of the Year Awards provides all Australians with the opportunity to recognise someone who makes them proud in four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (those aged 65 years or over), Young Australian of the Year (ages 16 to 30), and Australia’s Local Hero.
Capturing Tejinder Pal’s story, the note at the award website continues:
“After arriving from the Punjab region with his family in 2006, Tejinder endured a racist tirade of abuse while transporting a passenger which inspired the humble man to break down the negative prejudice associated with turbans. Funding the feast each month from his own pocket, Tejinder attributes his generosity to his deep Sikh faith. His work has inspired three other groups to take up the cause to distribute free food to the homeless on Sundays. And the hungry and thirsty come flocking when they see Tejinder’s van, emblazoned with the sign “free Indian food for hungry and needy people.”
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