Ranveer Brar is the latest Indian celebrity to win the coveted ‘capital M’ next to his follower count on Instagram, but ask the popular chef how he wishes to celebrate this milestone and pat comes the reply - “By #MakingMillionCount.”
What started as the craze for a handphone photo of “Smoked caramelized apple with buttermilk yolk and a rose macaroon” around 357 weeks ago, has gathered critical mass in 2020 for this iconic Food Sufi who is not only loved for his remarkable quip on television but also equally for his big-hearted, spiritual, almost historic conversations on life, travel, and cuisine on the gram. With over 6 million lifetime likes across platforms, path-breaking digital shows such as ‘Maa ki Baat’ and 23,000+ posts with the tag #RanveerBrar on Instagram, this handsome hunk from Lucknow is doing India proud by making our regional cuisine the ‘sexy entree’ of culinary conversation worldwide.
Such lucrative influence as a global Indian household-name should have its perks, which Brar feels should and can be best used for the welfare of our society. Hence, in his true esoteric chef fashion, Ranveer has launched his digital mission to #MakingMillionCount, where he aims to partner with different organizations to mirror the milestone number on to beneficiaries via various supporting programs.
The first in his arsenal of initiatives is to put the backbone of our cuisine back on their feet - by rebuilding some serious street cred for India’s street vendors.
“My relationship with food has always taught me to give back in some way, shape, or form. The onset of Covid’s socio-economic repercussions has caused a setback to millions of people across many walks of life. While we are all coping with it in our own ways, the worst-hit are those dependent on daily earnings..the lockdown has thus forced many a street food vendor to shut shop and perhaps return home,” opines Ranveer.
“While the bigger players are testing waters around making a comeback, the smaller vendors are still coming to terms with basic survival. However, their spirit of entrepreneurship is very much alive, as purported by the National Association of Street Vendors of India, aka NASVI, with whom I am crafting an association for a countrywide digital training movement targeted at local and hyperlocal street food vendors. We are committed to preparing them for a post-COVID world, where we can help reinstate them back into business as soon as possible.”
Towards this endeavor, Ranveer will use his global social media standing to create awareness and raise funds for these pan-India training modules, some of which he will also conduct personally via Zoom. The idea is to motivate more vendors to come forward for the training, on completion of which they are given a chance for a fair business footing via an FSSAI certificate + a starter kit consisting of an apron, pair of gloves, sanitizer, and mask. Via #MakingMillionCount, Brar also wants to encourage patrons to share self-curated, sanitization kits with their favorite roadside vendors to encourage and motivate them back to business.
“NASVI is a livelihood advocacy organization that works with more than 10,000,00 street vendors through street vendor organizations and leaders. It is very heartening to join hands with celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar to strengthen our effort of empowering street food vendors with the skill to cope up during and post COVID pandemic. His association will be a great motivation for street food vendors. Hygiene kits, which are the need of the hour, will be a great incentive for the food vendors to come forward for training. Wish and hope this beautiful association with Chef Brar brings a phenomenal success in the life of food vendors,” mentions Arbind Singh, National Coordinator, NASVI.
Ranveer’s popularity soared exceptionally high during the lockdown, as he undertook a series of lives titled #BeHomewithRB where he served as a covert detective bringing India’s hidden rural talent to the forefront. He also hosted many live-cooking sessions with celebrities such as Shankar Mahadevan and Nakul Mehta, finally amalgamating the series into a 21-day curated, lockdown cook-book that aided people with preparations of simple recipes with limited ingredients. The icing on the cake was the much appreciated #SochPostiveKarona, where Ranveer helped spread cheer via positive news bulletins on his Instagram daily, followed by an NGO showcase that one could contribute to and make a difference in these trying times.
“Street food is the backbone of any cuisine and culture. Being an avid traveler, I always encourage people to explore any destination through its street food, for that is where the tastiest stories of that region’s ethnicity are often hidden. Those hawkers are not mere food vendors, but a significant piece of our culture that we cannot afford to lose to history. They are our memory makers, our gossip mongers, and more than anything, stand testament to India’s resilient nature, and we must support them to #BringThemBack ,” he reflects.
How to contribute responsibly to #MakingMillionCount, you ask?
Before you do, follow Ranveer on @Ranveer.Brar as he passionately goes where no Chef has gone before in COVID, and ask yourself our mission’s top 5 thought-provoking questions:
1 - Would you ever eat street food the same way ever again?
2 - If not, what are you doing to change that?
a - Do you remember those who knew your tastes by memory?
b - The protector of your guilty pleasures aka your nukkad ka paani puri waala
c - The ‘add more teekha’ wali 6 pm vada pav didi
3 - Your ever-smiling Irani Chai Chacha
4 - What are you doing to empower them? Will they go down in history as the #forgottenones or can we help train them so as to and revive an important part of our culture by sparking a revolution in their businesses?
Would you be bold enough to join our appeal on Ketto and offer retribution to those who never hesitated to give from their heart and who were all too happy to share their life & food stories with you?