The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis has been tough on Indians. From streetside vendors struggling to make ends meet to people losing jobs, these stories keep surfacing every now and then. For some, social media has been a great form of support.
Among many affected by the pandemic is Mumbai's Akshay Parkar who had been employed as a 5-star international cruise chef. According to The Better India, he worked with the Taj Group of Hotels and international cruises.
However, COVID-19 left him unemployed and with no option but to find other means to fend for himself.
Parkar has opened up a biryani stall in Dadar. The stall is called 'Parkar Biryani House.' It is located opposite Star Mall in J.K Sawant Marg, Raut Wadi."
The responsibilities on Parkar's shoulders have been immense. He told The Better India about his mother, who has undergone two operations for her elbow and knee injury and his father, who also lost his job amid the pandemic and has been recovering from TB for years. Before COVID, a major chunk of Parker's earnings would go into taking care of his parents.
“I thought that after years of struggle I would be able to save more after the treatments but was left with just Rs 20,000 in my savings when I returned home this year,”Akshay Parkar to The Better India
Parkar was able to kickstart his biryani business after a vada pav vendor was willing to give up his business space as the latter too was struggling amid COVID.
When Parkar started out, he used to sell 5 kg biryani everyday. Now he sells 7 kgs. From chicken and mutton biryani to vegetarian options, Parkar caters adequately to his diverse customer base. What makes his food stand out is that he makes it using recipes and tricks he has learnt over the years working alongside international chefs.
(With inputs from The Better India)