India has seen many philanthropists in past years; it has witnessed people who have sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the individuals of our nation. Here we are going to talk about one such personality who entered our nation as a refugee during his childhood and he went through an ordeal to reach a good position in life. He ended up sacrificing his childhood, adolescence and even his geezer hood to serve the people.
We are talking about Jagdish Lal Ahuja who is aka ‘Langar Baba’ in Chandigarh. When asked about his life, he went into tears before he could speak anything. He shared how he came to India from Peshawar, the place of his birth, during partition and this partition seized his childhood from him.
Childhood Full of Hardships
He was the only bread earner in the family as his father did not work and his mother was a
homemaker. He used to walk three miles every day to purchase namkeen dal for 1 aana and then sell the same at the station for 2 aane. He used to make two such rounds daily and when he reached home his body used to shout in agony due to blisters all over. He could never take rest for even one day as he knew if he did so he would not get to eat anything for many days.
He never went to school as he could not afford it. Also, his father used to shout at him and he was himself afraid of the teachers scolding him for not completing the homework. So as fate would have it, he could never go to school.
From selling namkeen dal to fruits to groceries, he has faced a lot of hardships but he was determined to do something good for the society. At the age of 21, he moved to Chandigarh after having a fight with his family and started selling Bananas. Soon he became the Banana King of the market.
Idea of the Initiative
When his son was about to celebrate his 8 th birthday, Jagdish Lal decided to give something to the society and hence he organised a langar for the children. The joy and happiness he noticed in the eyes of children made him determined and he decided to do this every day.
The next milestone was achieved when on the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh he wanted to distribute halwa to the poor but was unable to find a place. One day he was passing through PGIMER and he found a boy serving rice to the poor and this clicked him.
He organised a langar between 6 – 6:30 PM every day outside PGIMER. He organises one more langar outside GMCH-32, which is organised in the afternoon.
Never asked for any financial favours
17 years have passed and his service and his determination towards his mission is unruffled. Dal, Chapatis, Rice and Bananas is served as a part of the meal and apart from this he distributes biscuits, chocolates, toffee, lollipops and whistles etc. to the poor children.
Till now he asked never asked any favour from others for his endeavours. He expressed himself saying that the shine I see in the eyes of children at the sight of the food makes me remind my childhood days and I am living my childhood again with these tiny tots.
He has sold out 7 of his properties for this langar and due to the shortage of money now a days he has reduced the quantity of the langar. Initially, he used to cook langar for 2000 people which have now reduced to 500. He just wants the work to be going on. In 2015, he sold his seventh property worth ₹1.6 crore to arrange money for his noble initiative.
Jagdish Lal who is fighting with cancer never asked for anyone’s favour in his life, but he only wants the government to take his initiative seriously and work for it even after he dies. The langar will stop from January 21, as he is now too old to serve.
He wants his message to be conveyed to the whole of nation. If you feel he is doing great work, please share this article, so it can reach maximum people and the help can come to his initiative.