In a country where crores of people are under-nourished or sleep without having their food, one man is ensuring that atleast few among them will get food to survive. 83-year-old Jagdish Lal Ahuja, popularly known as the ‘Langar Baba’, has been distributing free food to the poor in Chandigarh for the past 38 years.
Jagdish Lal Ahuja, born in Peshawar, (presently in Pakistan), came to Patiala after the Partition in 1947. He then moved to Chandigarh in 1956. He started feeding the hungry people across Chandigarh in 1981. On January 21, 2001, he started organizing langar outside gate number 2 of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital every day.
He has been providing the food to about 2000 people every day without a break. According to the Hindustan Times report, Jagdish Lal Ahuja has sold off his several properties to continue his selfless act. Along with the food, Ahuja also distributes free shawls, blankets, sweaters and shoes to the needy during winters.
“I have been doing this all on my own. Over the years, many people have offered money and other things to get associated with it. But I do not take anything from anybody. I want to do it from my own resources. I decline all offers.”
Recently, the ‘Langar Baba’ was diagnosed with cancer. But, his commitment to feed hungry people is still intact.
“I will continue the ‘langar’ (community kitchen) till my last breath. This is something that gives me ‘sakoon’ (satisfaction and contentment),” Langar Baba said.