At 1 pm everyone stands in a queue for “baba’s langar” in front of PGI and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. 80-year-old Jagdish Lal Ahuja has been serving free food for 33 years to the patients and their relatives outside the two hospital buildings.
He serves free meals which include chapattis, dal, halwa, a banana and a pack of sweets or biscuits.
Things can go wrong on a day, bad weather could ruin everyone’s schedule but nothing changes for the kind man. Even when he went out of funds to organize the daily langar for the poor, the philanthropist sold one of his properties to keep going on.
He has so far sold 7 of his properties worth crores to raise funds, according to an Indian Express report.
“Ab yeh langar nahi rukega… jab tak main zinda hun, Baba ka langar chalta rahega,” said Jagdish Lal Ahuja.
The man, who started these humanitarian activities 35 years ago, organized his first langar on the 8th birthday of his elder son. The langar was held outside his shop and since then the he has never stopped feeding the needy. What started with feeding a few poor children outside his shop, now feeds thousands of patients and their families outside PGI and GMCH-32.
“Once, while passing through PGI, I saw a man sitting near the boundary wall of the institute, who was distributing rice to poor people. I asked if no one stops him, he said no. The next day, that was January 21, 2000, I started distributing free food to people outside PGI.”
Apart from food, Jagdish Lal Ahuja also donates blankets, socks, shoes and sweaters to the poor.
“Serving food to the poor gives me immense satisfaction and peace of mind. Moreover, the spark in the eyes of children and smiles on their lips when they see the food, is what motivates me to do more and more for them. Until my last breath, I will keep serving them free meal.”
Jagdish Lal Ahuja was born in Peshawar. He came to Patiala during partition at that time he was only 12 selling toffees to make ends meet. When he came to Chandigarh, he started selling bananas on a hawker; he worked hard and later, became the banana king of the city.
We are glad to announce that this story has been shared by Sofia Malhotra, who is an earlier resident of Chandigarh. She had witnessed the inspirational scenes at the baba’s langar outside the hospital building, recently and got in touch with us to talk about the great man’s story. Image and information has been sourced from two Indian Express reports: Source Source.