New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna will be honored with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive that he coordinated from thousands of miles away in his Manhattan home.
Launched in 2014 by Asia Society, the premier American non-profit focused on Asia, the Asia Game Changer Awards, identify and honor “true leaders who make a positive contribution to the future of Asia,” and this year’s “#AsiaGameChangers are individuals that are using their platform and influence to change lives, change societies, and change perceptions,” Asia Society tweeted on September 19 while announcing the award honorees.
Khanna is the only one of Indian-origin among the six honorees named by the leading organization on Wednesday.
“I have always looked up to Asia Society for connecting East & West. Today, I am proud to be awarded #AsiaGameChangers Award 2020. Humbled to be in the company of @BTS_twt @naomiosaka @YoYo_Ma @JoeClara #MikyLee,” tweeted Chef Khanna.
Preeminent cellist Yo-Yo Ma, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, Korean boy band BTS, producer of Oscar-winning film ‘Parasite’ Miky Lee and business leaders and philanthropists Joe and Clara Tsai are the honorees of the Asia Game Changer Awards “for their responses to the year’s twin traumas of COVID-19 and racially motivated violence”.
Khanna is being honored “for dropping everything to feed millions in India at a time of great need and suffering”.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit India, Khanna, sitting thousands of miles away in New York, launched a food distribution drive that steadily reached millions across the country.
Since April, Khanna’s #FeedIndia initiative has distributed 35 million meals, including cooked and dry ration, as well as 500,000 slippers, 3.5 million sanitary pads, two million masks and other essential supplies across hundreds of cities throughout India, according to a news report in The Economic Times.
“In this time of profound global challenge, our 2020 Game Changers shine a beacon of love and courage across our divided globe,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran in a statement. “They have met the moment, and they have inspired the world. We are honored to bring them to our signature global event.”
The virtual event to honor the awardees will be held on October 22 and will also feature a special message by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a performance from Yo-Yo Ma, and a feature to honor frontline health care workers in the U.S. and Asia. More information can be found at https://asiasociety.org/asia-game-changer-awards/2020-asia-game-changer-awards.