IMPACT
06/02/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Naryanan Krishnan: Chef Dedicates Life To Feeding India's Homeless

An award-winning young chef on the fast track to success in India, Naryanan Krishnan had it all -- until a jarring experience with poverty changed his life. Krishnan saw a homeless man, living under a bridge, who was so destitute that he was eating his own waste to stay alive.

"It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime."

Krishnan quit his job at a luxurious five star restaurant in order to make feeding the homeless his full time job. Each day, he rises before dawn to prepare meals for almost 400 homeless people in his hometown. As he journeys through the city distributing meals, he offers haircuts to the people he feeds, helping them regain their dignity.

To support his work, Krishnan founded the Akshaya Trust, a nonprofit that allows him to collect donations. Each month, however, donations fall short of the amount needed to feed everyone the organization touches. To cut costs, Krishnan doesn't take a salary, choosing instead to live modestly, sleeping on the Akshaya kitchen floor.

In the future, Krishnan hopes to raise enough money to build the Akshaya Home, a homeless shelter to house the poor. Until he can secure enough funding to compete the home, construction remains at a stand-still.

CNN Heroes profiled Krishnan on April 2.

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