- Taking care of orphan kids who are suffering from cancer is a very different idea of social service. What made you take this step?
My fathers illness gripped me in more than ways. I watched him suffer in silence right in front of my eyes. I was shocked to understand that trauma that each cancer patient went through during the course of the treatment. The medical industry has made a business out of the disease, and manages to crumble the will power of those who even strongly desire to live.
My father was an old man, but when I started learning of young kids suffer from cancer, I began to empathise even more with them. It saddened me to think of the years they would loose if the sickeness took over. A child’s morale is shattered with the chemotherapy, and radiation sessions. I thought to myself if I could make a difference to the life of even one child during that time, it would make a world of a difference. Which is precisely why I took a step in the direction and started helping orphaned kids.
- How does it feel to take care of 28 kids who need special attention? What are the challenges involved in this?
When you do things with a smile on your face and from your heart, things become a lot more easier. Also when you are invested in your passion, you can empathise with the person who is sufferring better. You will automatically comprehend their needs, and the kind of pain they go through on a regular basis. My challage lies in organisinf the finances, but I also believe, where there is a will there is a way! When I will that I genuiley want to care for these childern, I find a way, OR there is someone who has noticed my selfless services and helps with the donations too. I also put in all of my own earnings to help these kids.
- Did you face any societal pressures while taking this decision? If yes, what were they and how did you handle them?
Society always has its own part to play even if you are doing something good. My urge to help people was met with snide remarks to begin with. People in my family went all out to discourage me from taking to this selfless cause. However, during such tying times, I had the undying support of my husband and my daughters. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have gone such a long way.
- Are you sentimental or an emotionally strong lady? Tell us something about your personal attributes when it comes to emotions.
I am indeed a very sentimental and emotional person. Perhaps it would be more fitting to state that I have a high emotional quotient. There are many things that move me in no time at all. Even a sad plot in a movie coul move me to tears. But that is for the greater good of all those who I can help around me. It helps me reach out better to people with special needs.
- Something about your professional background!
I am a passionet food blogger and a philathrophist by profession.
- Q. You are a well-known food blogger. How did you enter into this profession?
I enjoy cooking. I enjoy perpaing different kinds of foods for the kids at the cancer hospital. Their tate buds take a back seat, and I ensure I make something that they would like, so that they at least have a little food to keep them going. My passion urged me to participate in Masterchef India, when I emerged as one of the runner-up’s. While I was on the show, my daughter would pen down all the recipies. After the hustle and bustle of the show was done with, she urged me to start with my own blog. I almost got instant recognition, and organically assumed popularity of a number of social media platforms. With the growing popularity I was being invited to review a number of restaurants (and I still continue to do so). I have received many accolades for my work, and am espcially known as one of the best Indi food bloggers in the country.
- What are the plus points and the challenges of being in the food industry?
Well, the pluses are you are exposed to many people, and many cultures through food. I am especially fond of Indian food; but after entering this industry I have managed to learn a lot more about world cuisines. I have explored a new arena of fusion foods too.
Since my blog has taken over the internet, I am invited to a number of events, and in return I receive fancy gift hampers that really help with the food preperation for the cancer children.
- Q. How are the kids taken care of? Do you work alone or there is a team of supporters and volunteers?
I work with volunteers. Some have been associated with me since long. I have even managed to educate two orphan kids who have been volunteering all along, and today they are degree holders. Some volunters just come and go and help when they can.
- Share some of the anecdotes that you have experienced while doing this noble task!
Once I was serving my cancer kids, and one sweet girl burst into tears. I asked her why was she crying? And she replied, “Because Rohit wrote ‘I love you in my book…’. I calmed her down and told her that the child who wrote I love you loves everyone! So there is nothing wrong with that. Immidiately the child who wrote ‘I love you’ in her notebook, got up and stated, “But I genuinely love her like they love in films Geeta ma!” I stopped stared and burst into peels of laughter. I laugh every time I think of this incident of puppy-love at 9.
- A quote that you firmly believe upon!
Give love and you will receive ten folds back from the universe. Serve selflessly, and it will be returned when you need it the most!
- Your future plans?
I do want to establsh a bigger team to help my blog grow. I also have started my own youtube channel when I post live videos in Tamil. I show how simple preperations can be made, using simple ingredients. By doing this I try reaching out to the youth who are stay in homes away from home, and give them the nuances of cooking.