Tejinder Pal Singh, a Sikh taxi driver, has been named “Australian of the Day,” an informal, photography-based offshoot of the Australian of the Year Awards, for his dedicated habit of taking one day a month to give out 30 kilograms (approximately 66 pounds) of free food to the local homeless population.
Singh, who lives in Darwin, Australia, typically has a 12-hour shift each day as a cab driver. The last Sunday of each month, he and his son Navdeep dedicate five hours to cooking coolers full of vegetarian curry, chickpeas, and rice. The father-and-son team then spend the day giving out food to those in need.
Singh, who has little interest in indulging his “day” of fame, attributes his spirit of generosity to the Sikh religion, which says that one can serve God by serving others. This is often accomplished by volunteering or working in the langar, a vegetarian kitchen commonly run by Sikh communities, which is open to the public. Singh has rejected offers of money from supporters in the past, choosing to fund the whole project personally.
“My religion says 10 percent of income goes toward needy and poor people, no matter [whether] they belong to your religion or any religion,” Singh explained in an interview with Channel 9, an Australian news station.