In the Christmas spirit of sharing and caring, Australian–Indian restaurateur Gautam Gulati will throw open the doors of his restaurant for a complimentary Christmas luncheon for the homeless and needy in Melbourne.
Melbourne-based restauranteur Gautam Gulati strongly believes in the Indian tradition of distributing food to the needy.
“I myself initially struggled in this place, but now that I have established myself, I wish to give back to the needy people in society,” Mr Gulati tells SBS Hindi.
So this Christmas, Mr Gulati will throw open the doors of his restaurant for Melbourne's homeless and needy people, something he has done for last three years.
“Last year we gave 150 people a complimentary lunch. My volunteers and I joined them and had a meal with them to make them feel wanted. We wanted them to feel like they had a family,” says Mr Gulati.
The people who come to his restaurant on Christmas day have a sad story to share, says Mr Gulati.
An incident that he cannot forget is that of a man who came to lunch last year and hugged him for ten minutes.
"He wept and wept because of the hospitality extended to him. The man said he had never been treated with so much respect. He said the passers-by on the road treat him very badly,” says Mr Gulati.
Mr Gulati says the staff joins in too.
"Many have expressed a wish to work voluntarily that afternoon but I insist on paying them their due wages," he says.
Those who come in are served a three-course Italian meal which includes entrees like meatballs, garlic bread, bruschetta, calamari or whatever they wish to order.
The mains include Lasagna, pasta and more along with beers, wine, soft drinks and other beverages.
“Their blessings are my greatest reward and I shall continue doing this as long as I am able to,” adds Mr Gulati.