After graduating, Japneet was working at an accounting firm and drove an Uber on the side while searching for his passion. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, shutting down his work.
While quarantined in his home in Queens, New York, the 25-year-old was figuring out how to give back to healthcare workers and other essential personnel on the frontlines, “People locked inside their homes could still manage to feed themselves but the brave staff at hospitals and police personnel working ‘round the clock often find their health deteriorating.”
Japneet first thought of donating supplies of protective equipment to hospitals and tried contacting a few vendors, but they were out of stock. He then asked himself, “What if we donated some pizza? Who says no to pizza, at least here in New York?”
He made his first delivery of 20 pizzas to Elmhurst Hospital, New York. Soon, he was making 3-4 runs to several hospitals across the city in a day. “It was quite hectic, I'd have to sanitize myself thoroughly each time I entered a hospital,” Japneet recalls.
Since New York was the hotspot of the outbreak, his family wasn’t particularly happy about him stepping out, “Both my parents are diabetic. They were very scared of me catching the virus and asked me to stay home.” Even his friends told him, “We know you love helping others, but now’s not the time to overextend yourself.” But Japneet was determined to do his bit to make sure the COVID warriors don’t go hungry.
He also visited grocery stores, police precincts and FDNY stations distributing pizza pies. He worked with pizzeria owners in Queens and Brooklyn for discounting and donating some as well.
“These are minimum-wage workers. If we can put a smile on their faces with just a slice of pizza, then why not do that one small act of kindness?”, says Japneet. Over the course of the pandemic, Japneet has delivered over 1000 pizzas, paying out of his own pocket.
Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of people like Japneet who selflessly help others in need. #Rise.