The boss of a Nepalese restaurant who has delivered over 100,000 free meals to frontline staff during the Covid-19 pandemic became a Freeman of the City of London at a ceremony.
At the outset of the pandemic Sujan Katuwal thought of closing the business that he had been running for more than a decade.
But his wife, Bandana, suggested that they keep it open to help the community and hospitals.
The couple subsequently delivered meals to hospital staff, community centres, homeless projects, care homes and armed forces helping out at vaccination centres. They include his signature dish “Mum’s Curry”, a medium hot chicken dish inspired by his mother.
The couple received the Queen’s Award for voluntary service in 2020.
A City of London Corporation spokesperson said:
“We are delighted that Sujan has been awarded the Freedom of the City. It is richly deserved.
“His selfless actions are an example of how communities can come together and overcome hardship.
“Sujan has dedicated himself to helping make London a better place and it is fitting we recognise his commitment as well as the positive impact he has had.”
Sujan Katuwal said:
“It is wonderful to receive this award and I feel humbled by the recognition. My wife and I are doing everything we can to help our community.
“I have huge admiration for frontline staff who often work long hours under immense pressure. It feels fantastic to have supported them – and put a few smiles on faces!”
The Freedom of the City of London, which is believed to have begun in 1237, was used to enable recipients to carry out their trade.
Today, people are nominated for, or apply for, the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.
The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement, or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life.