In a country that is often polarised in its opinions, it is tough to find a person who no one dislikes. Vikas Khanna is that person for India.

He is loved by every one and respected across the world for his values and skills. Vikas is more than a celebrity Michelin chef. He is an icon, a symbol of hope for millions, and here are few of the things that make him our favourite human.

1. He goes out of his way to help people in need.

Earlier in May, he donated 4 million meals to people struggling with hunger in India during the pandemic, something that should be done by everyone who is in a place to do so.

He also launched the largest food drive in the world, Barkat, to help the marginalised communities in these tough times.

In fact, his initiative Feed India recently completed the 50 million meals mark, a news Vikas shared on his Twitter account. 

2. He doesn’t shy away from standing up for what’s right.

Earlier this year, trolls questioned his faith after one of the Bigg Boss contestants, Asim Riaz, fed him cake on the show. Reacting to those ridiculous comments, he had said: 

I’m an Indian and that’s my faith… humanity and humility shine even when they are silent and small.
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Dear All. I was in BiggBoss house a few days back. We had spent hours and hours to create Michelin Style plates for the Winning team…….when everyone started eating, I was so happy to see them eat. They are living in isolation without any luxury for months, it was a satisfying moment for me to see them savour my food. Except for Asim, who served me a bite with his hands first. It was a genuine moment to thank me. When I posted this humble gesture on Insta Story, I got a lot of hate filled rude messages and questions. Even questioning my faith. I’m an Indian and that’s my faith. I have slept many days without food during my journey in America, I admire people with courage and big hearts even when they are at the receiving end. Humanity and Humility Shine even when they are silent and small. ❤️

A post shared by Vikas Khanna (@vikaskhannagroup) on

3. He has a thirst for knowledge that cannot be quenched. 

When a person has accomplished so much in life, you’d think that they would want to rest. That is not the case with Vikas, who is currently working on his third PhD. Announcing the same, he had recently tweeted:

His first doctoral thesis was on Indian festivals and cuisine, while the other was an honorary doctorate conferred to him by G.D Goenka University

The Indian Express

4. He is the personification of humility. 

5. He has taught us never to give up in life.

When Vikas applied for colleges to learn culinary arts, he was made fun of, for not knowing English. Saddened beyond measure, he told the interviewers:

Main itna smart nahi hun par mujhe pata hai aap mera mazaak uda rahe ho.

That purity of his heart got him admission, and look where he is now.

6. He gives it back to anyone who tries to disrespect him – but in a very soft, mannered way.

Recently, a BBC interviewer was talking to Vikas about his philanthropic work and suggested that the chef understands hunger because he comes from India.

Giving him the perfect slap back, Vikas said it was actually in New York that he learnt about it because he slept hungry on many nights in the city. India, he said, has a culture of feeding people at gurudwaras so that no one has an empty stomach.

7. He has a heart of gold.

During the 1992 riots in Mumbai, a Muslim family gave shelter to Vikas. And in order to protect him, they said that he was their son, when people came on their door.

This affected him so much, he started keeping fast on one day during Ramzaan to pray for the well-being of the family.

He kept looking for them, too, and found the family in 2018.

8. He corrects people when they are wrong. Strongly, but politely.

Some time ago, US senator Lauren Witzke made a derogatory tweet towards the migrants living in the US, saying they ‘can’t assimilate into civil societies’.

Vikas, who is currently working in the US, listed out his achievements to her and it was as perfect a slapback as there ever was.

9. Even after achieving so much in life, he is attached to his roots.

10. He makes us believe that everything is possible.

A person who was born with a disability, fought all odds, ranging from financial difficulties to language barriers, and became a symbol of strength, unity and success.

How often does that happen?

Vikas Khanis simply the best.