81-Yr-Old Sikh Feeds 2 Mn People On Maharashtra Highway

by Gizel Menezes
81-Yr-Old Sikh Feeds 2 Mn People On Maharashtra Highway

The Sikh community has always stood at the forefront of any crisis. In the wake of the coronavirus too, they’ve been unfailingly delivering their services and winning hearts all over the world. In Maharashtra too, near Karanji on NH-7, 81-year-old Baba Karnail Singh Khaira has been feeding millions of people free of cost since the past 2 months.

81-Year-Old Sikh Man Feeds Millions On Maharashtra Highway

In a stretch of around 450 km, on the remote Maharashtra highway, Baba’s ramshackle tin shed langar is the only spot that serves meals. With no dhabas or restaurants around, people halt at his humble abode and avail of his round-the-clock services.

While he has been serving free meals for years now, his ‘langar’ has became a respite for hungry migrants, truckers and villagers since the lockdown began.

“We had hordes of people coming days and we kept continuously cooking food for them. We welcomed all with smiles and folded hands, irrespective of caste, religion. My regular team of 17 ‘sevaks’, including 11 cooks and other helpers were overworked but ensured a non-stop supply of fresh, piping hot food,” Khaira told IANS.

Baba Khaira’s youngest brother, who is settled in the USA, has helped him with huge donations from the local (USA) Sikh community and many Pandharkawada philanthropists. With his help, in the past 10 weeks, the langar has fed over 15 lakh people and counting. Over 5 lakh people have also taken parcels. The langar provides a breakfast of tea with biscuits or hard bread. All 3 meals include plain rice with toor dal and aloo vadi and aloo vanga. In addition, it also provides soap and borewell water for bathing to visitors.

Another lovely feature of this langar is that they feed a daily meal of chapati-jaggery to around 250 dogs, cats, stray cattle and other mute animals in the vicinity. All of whom are grappling with the hunger crisis in this lockdown.

Also Read: Sikh Community Delivers Over 1000 Pizzas To Frontline Workers

Baba Khaira’s Langar Has A Historic Sikh Connection

Baba Khaira’s tiny langar is linked with the historic Gurudwara Bhagod Sahib, Wai, located around 11 km away. It was at this spot where the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, stayed in 1705. After 125 years, the place became the world-famous ‘Gurudwara Takht Hazuri Sahib Sachkhand’ (Nanded), and is one of the Five Takhts in Sikhism.

At the age of 11, Baba left his Meerut home to answer ‘a mysterious call for service to humankind’. He was assigned the management of this langar in 1988. And for the past 38 years, he has been fulfilling his duty, owning just 3 sets of clothes and eating the same food served to the people.

According to him, as quoted by IANS, this ‘is the ‘marzi’ (will) of Wahe Guru’. He believes, he is just an instrument in the service to humanity.

What a beautiful shining example of love and hope in these trying times! People like Baba Khairaji keep our faith and trust in humanity affirmed through their unfaltering continual efforts.

Also Read: This Is How The Sikh Community Have Globally Been Offering Services To The Needy Amid The Pandemic