The Veda Club’s $5 vegan curry Thursdays have been an iconic part of AUT’s student life for the past five years.
Gaura, Sundar, and their team of dedicated volunteers have come a long way from handing out free testers and cakes, to having queues of people lined up with their own containers to be filled with a delicious meat-free curry. It’s all part of their mission to spread awareness about leading a healthier lifestyle by eating good, honest food the way mama makes it.
Following its success at the University of Auckland, the Veda Club was introduced at AUT five years ago. When it first started, however, it was not as popular as it was over at UoA, says Megan Burfoot, student president of AUT’s Veda Club.
At UoA, everyone is centred around the quad to eat, and so word about the vegan curries spread fast. “With us at AUT, we grab our meal and go somewhere random to eat it,” says Megan.
She says the team had to give out free samples to be noticed at first, but the hype soon grew as people caught onto the idea of a cheap feed and doing something good for their bodies.
The vegan curries are inspired by the teachings of the Vedas (ancient Hindu scriptures), which prefer methods of food production to be in sync with nature and the value of compassion. And people get really into it—staff and students now arrive in droves with their own containers to be filled.
Besides being cheap and delicious, the Veda Club has some wonderful cooks too.
“Gaura and Sundar, they’re just so kind…You go and feel appreciated as a person,” says Megan.
Compassion is the core value they stand by. The $5 covers the cost of making the curry, and that’s all they have charged since the club’s beginning—with no adjustment for inflation.
With how popular it is right now, there is little the Veda Club is looking to change. They are, however, thinking of holding an all-day free lunch event, but there are currently issues with getting a funding grant. They’re working on it.
Long live the Veda Club!