Armenia: Indian family converts restaurant to free-meal centre for refugees

Armenia: Indian family converts restaurant to free-meal centre for refugees
Armenia: Indian family converts restaurant to free-meal centre for refugees | Image credit: India Today

The incessant military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan made thousands of people rendered homeless from the Nagorno-Karabakh region since September. Many of them fled their homes and shifted to the capital city, Yerevan. Also Read: Mumbai duo sells vada pav on London streets and makes Rs 4.4 crore a year

People of both nations have come forward to help refugees in the border areas. Among these reliefs, a helping hand is an Indian family who has been living in Armenia for the last 6 years. The family is doing their bit by revamping their eatery into a free-meal centre for refugees. Also Read: Meet Yogi Adityanath’s sister who sells food and flowers near a temple

47-year-old Parvez Ali Khan, who belonged to Malerkotla in Punjab, India lives with his wife and two daughters in Yerevan, Armenia. The family has been running a restaurant named ‘Indian Mehak’ for the past six years.

When Parvez heard about the catastrophe, he wanted to help deprived people in any way he could. Parvez said, “When the battle set off, I witnessed the entire nation come together. Everyone offered essential supplies, food, and medicines to the needy. We also donated clothes but I felt that they lacked cooked meals, not the food. That’s when the thought of delivering prepared meals to them hit me.”

The restaurant seemed like a considerable benefit to them but when the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, they were short-staffed. Most of their hirelings were sent back to India. This was a tough time yet that didn’t stop this family.

“The initial days have been tough because of the lack of staff and a lot of people were looking for cooked meals. Then we spread the word through Facebook for help from the volunteers. Many people wanted to come forth and support our cause, it was exhorting. Soon, we had about fifty volunteers helping us in the kitchen and delivering the meals,” Parvez said.

They started the service on October 4th. They are gladdened to see so many Armenians join them. For now, Yerevan is safe. The Indian embassy is in regular contact with the Indians living there and has shared emergency numbers with them. Also Read: After Delhi’s ‘Baba Ka Dhaba’, people queue up at Agra’s ‘Kanji Bade Wale Uncle’

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