Lilima Khan’s magical entry to the Masterchef India’s team has brought unprecedented laurels to Creative Services Support Group (CSSG), a New Delhi based charitable organisation that was founded in 2011. This is a visible testament of the organisations’ unbiased efforts and support in serving the underprivileged and creating opportunities for them through creativity and unconventional charity work. The group of dedicated and highly skilled charity workers is determined to not just raise money and provide sustainable living, but also empower people of all age groups towards life changing ideas, aiming to bring happiness and contentment in the lives of the less fortunate.
From begging and hunting for food in piles of rubble to becoming a professional chef, CSSG has played an instrumental role in providing Lilima encouragement to pursue her dream and achieve the desired goal. Fondly known as Lilly, the 22-year-old young female has had a rough childhood. After losing both her parents and her sister, she was exposed to the darker side of life and had to face the harsh atrocities at a very young age whereby she spent most of her time on roads begging and searching for food, eventually joining the rag pickers trade to sustain herself.
Lilly’s life took a temporary turn for the better when she came in contact with a kind gentleman from Badtey Kadam who provided her the opportunity to study at Udayan Care. However, this did not last long as Lilly’s aunt tried to intervene in her destined future and made different life choices for her.
From being mistreated by her aunt to being forced to work in a shoe factory at the tender age of 12 years, Lilly had to face the worst to finally get to the best. Her brother, on witnessing the brutality by her aunt decided to take her away and enrolled her with Kilkari Homes where she was fortunate to meet Mr. Anand Kapoor, President of CSSG whose focus has been to nurture impressionable minds as well as equip young girls with a profession that helps them sustain life independently.
With his constant support and guidance, Lilly secured her first job at Tres and was mentored by Chef Jatin Malik and Julia D’sa. At the CSSG yearly event, Lilima was opportunely selected to work with Michelin star chefs, giving her life the purpose, she was looking for. She got the opportunity to work closely with world-renowned chefs on several occasions, including a farm to table set up where she and other girls were taken to a farm to help the chefs in picking herbs and vegetables. They were guided by the chefs as to what to look at, how to pluck and the correct technique of cooking which further increased her desire to pursue a future in the culinary field. With the help of CSSG, she gained culinary experience at popular restaurants such as Tres, Boheur in Srifort, La Canteen at DLF Promenade, New Delhi and Dear Donna at the Qutab Hotel, New Delhi.
Lily’s big break was just around the corner when she was spotted working alongside Michelin Star chefs at the GSSG Charity Dinner by the Masterchef India team and was asked to send in a video of herself, cooking some of her best dishes which further secured her a position at the prestigious platform. She was flown down to join Masterchef India in Mumbai on the 2nd of November 2019.
“What Lilly has achieved today is because of her hard work and skill. Her desire to achieve her dreams has led her on the path of success and positivity. We at CSSG believe in charity that empowers rather than creating dependency. Our aim is not just to provide monetary help, but to give a voice to the inner creativity of the less fortunate. Lilly’s journey is truly inspiring and we wish to continue working towards changing more lives for the better”, says Anand Kapoor, President of CSSG.
Masterchef India is a dream for many who hope to make a name in the culinary field. But this dream is now Lilly’s reality who at one point was struggling hard to survive in this harsh world. She has added a whole new flavour to the recipe of her life with the constant support of Mr. Anand and Creative Services Support Group. Mr. Anand not only helped her in securing her first job but also kept a regular check on her, further strengthening her confidence in him and CSSG.
“Sometimes I have trouble believing how my life has turned out. At one point my main aim was to be able to feed myself. Thanks to Mr. Anand Kapoor and CSSG, my life has a new purpose and surprisingly it is now my job as well… to feed, to cook!”, says Lilima Khan with a glow in her eyes.
CSSG has not only been a guardian angel for Lilly, but has also transformed the lives of many others for the better. From literature, art, design, fashion, music to even architecture and cooking, CSSG trusts in the power of perspectives and creativity. Whole, Dear World, Feeding Hearts, And I Still Rise and Voice are some of CSSG’s initiatives, all of which help men and women of all ages express their difficulties and voice their opinions in the hope of providing them with an opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Through their efforts, CSSG hopes to empower and support as many people as they can with their unique approach.