An Indian-origin Sikh migrant driver in Australia has been named ‘Australian of the Day’ for feeding the homeless in Darwin for the past three years.
Tejinder Singh works by day as air conditioner mechanic and by night as a taxi driver. Despite his busy life, he still manages to find time to give back to the Darwin community, in the form of a monthly food drive, in which he feeds up to 100 of Darwin’s neediest.
Alongside young son Navdeep, he dedicates the last Sunday of every month to cooking and distributing vegetarian meals to any and all who are hungry,no matter what class or race. Often finishing his taxi shift in the early hours of the morning, this means his food drive is often completed on little sleep but the act of giving he says, gives him the energy to continue. He has rejected monetary offers from supporters, instead he encourages others to begin their own food drives within their local community.
“The van, the pots, anyone can use them. It’s for mankind.”
It is for this noble act that he was featured as Australian of the Day on their website. He often finishes his taxi shift in thr wee hours of the morning and carries out his food drive on very little sleep, but he quoted saying that the act of giving provides him to energy to continue.
He cooks up 30 kilogrammes of Indian cuisine to feed the homeless after his night shift. The free lunch that Singh offers comprises chickpeas, rice and vegetarian curry.
“I do something for homeless people, so they get more energy so they’re happy. My religion says 10 per cent of income goes toward needy and poor people – no matter (whether) they belong to your religion or any religion,” Singh was quoted as saying by local media.
His van carries a signature written as ‘Free Indian food for hungry and needy people, Provide Sikh family.’ Commonwealth Bank has sponsored the Australian of the Year Awards for over 35 years, recognising extraordinary Australians who have made a big difference to the country.