A Nawab’s Kitchen For Orphans
Meet Khwaja Moinuddin, the man behind the kitchen for Orphans
If, somewhere near the suburbs of Hyderabad, you see a man cooking outdoors and a large crowd of children lining up and waiting patiently to savour the food, you’re probably in the company of Moinuddin Khwaja. A 39-year old MBA graduate currently working in a private media firm, Khwaja has quickly become an internet sensation with the popularity of his YouTube channel “Nawab’s kitchen food for all Orphans”.
You may have encountered Khwaja’s videos on social media, cooking various dishes out in the open, talking to the viewers about his food and his way of distributing it to the orphans. Khwaja, an avid cook has transformed his hobby into a charitable affair and also inspires others to do so.
Khwaja, who settled in Hyderabad around 14 years ago, had been conceptualising this idea for the last three years. Then finally around nine months ago in September, three of his friends decided to create a YouTube channel where he could share his recipes whilst cooking outdoors.
The idea didn't evolve around orphaned children initially. However after shooting nine to ten episodes, they decided to contact multiple orphanages in and around Hyderabad and cook periodic meals for them.
Khwaja’s two friends are also involved in the media firm: One of them is really good with shooting videos and the other,with editing. “It was mostly a dream that the three of us had together, and we wanted to achieve it self-sufficiently”, says Moinuddin. The drudgery of corporate lives and its monotonicity compelled them to add something ‘meaningful’ to their lives.
They trio want to inspire the young generation so that people can move out of the cocoons of their lives and start caring about fellow compatriots. However the main motive is to bring smiles back to the faces of those who don't have anyone in their lives to care about them. ”Once I was travelling by the train when I was small, I saw kids of my age going ahead and trying to collect food out of the garbage. That memory has stood with me for a long time”, Moinuddin says. This was one of the first incidents that motivated him to go ahead and work for these children. He generally informs the orphanage by the morning whenever they arrive. He cooks for no less than two days a week trying to serve the kids as much as possible.
Pizza, chicken biryani, fish curry, chocolate truffle cakes are amongst his favourite dishes to cook for the children. For the kids living with well to do families these things don't have any special significance as they are widely available in the urban areas. However, for children who have no-one in their lives, these dishes bring a smile back to their faces, as these kids genuinely long for some comfort and affection says Moinuddin.
“If you save merely 500 rupees a month from you regular expenses, in three months you can gather enough money to cook a good meal for these children”, says Moinuddin. Along with his personal expense, Moinudddin has brought together a few kind hearted people who are helping him take the work forward through donations. Moinuddin primarily depends on the monetization of his videos on his Youtube channel. However he still urges people to donate some clothes, if not anything else, for these kids. He is doing this along with his job and still manages to find some time from his busy schedule to work for the kids. He plans to continue this initiative for a long time -- as long as he can continue it with sheer dedication.