Pune: The thumb rule that ‘a chef who cooks a dish, tastes it before selling it’ is a humongous task for a vegetarian learning to cook non-vegetarian dishes. For those opting for culinary studies like hotel management courses, cooking non-vegetarian food is inevitable, which sometimes becomes a nightmare for many.
Pune-based Chartered Accountant Chandrashekhar Luniya, who was campaigning for a ‘veg only’ course option for hotel management students since 2012, has finally tasted success.
Luniya received a letter from Ministry of Tourism stating that hotel management colleges under the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) of the Central government have now started offering ‘veg only’ course option for students.
The ministry’s letter, dated April 11, stated that after consultation with principals of the six Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) and industry representatives, the ministry has agreed that ‘vegetarian only’ option would be given to students.
The ministry also intends to extend the vegetarian curriculum in the rest of the 18 Central IHMs in the coming years.
How it started
Chandrashekhar’s son, Bhushan Luniya, a vegetarian, decided to take admission for hotel management course in Mumbai with the aim of becoming a chef. Unfortunately, Bhushan had to join management course instead.
“Non-vegetarian cooking is a compulsory part of every hotel management course around the world, and India is no different. My son was uncomfortable with this option.
“He joined the course in 2012 and would inform he was doing well, but later, we learnt that he opted for management studies in hotel management course,” said Chandrashekhar.
Bhushan is currently pursuing his post graduation in management studies in New Zealand.
It was after this incident that Chandrashekhar took up the initiative to appeal to the ministries, hotel management colleges, the Parliament and bureaucrats to start a degree for vegetarian cooking only. Since 2012, he has exchanged around 8,000 letters with higher authorities.
“There was resistance to non-vegetarian cooking by many students. I found out that some students, who aspired to become chefs, had never joined the hotel management course
due to non-availability of a vegetarian cooking option,” he said.
“Few people had also dropped out of the course, as they were not able to deal with meat cooking,” he further added.