Indian eatery provides free meals to Australia bushfire victims

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Canberra: The owners of an Indian restaurant in Australia were giving out free meals to those affected by the devastating bushfires in the state of Victoria, one of the worst hit, a media report said.

Kanwaljit Singh and his wife Kamaljit Kaur own the Desi Grill in Bairnsdale in eastern Victoria where fires have destroyed homes and resulted in one death, The Daily Mail said in the report.

The couple and their staff have been cooking curry and rice which is being handed out by Melbourne-based charity Sikh Volunteers Australia to those living in temporary shelter.

Singh, who has lived in the area for six years, said he felt he had a “duty” to help his fellow Australians.

“It’s terrible out there. People are severely affected and they need food and shelter. It’s our duty to serve them when they need us the most,” he told the media.

“We follow the Sikh way of life. We are just doing what other Australians are doing today, and that is to serve and pray for the people who have been hit hard by these terrible bushfires.”

Singh said his team helped volunteers cook 500 meals on New Year’s Eve.

“We have the capacity to cook for up to 1,000 people in a day… We have stock of rice, flour and lentils which we think should be sufficient for the next week or so,” The Daily Mail quoted Singh as saying.

Since September fires have killed at least 20 people in Victoria and New South Wales and dozens remain missing.

The fires have so far destroyed more than 1,300 homes.

Temperatures across the two states that have been hardest-hit by the fires in recent days, were expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

(Agencies)