Padma Shri Awards: If anyone goes to Chandigarh's Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), he will see a wisened old man calmly serving food to people. Those eating are patients or their relatives/attendants. The man does not take any money from them but simply serves food. He has been doing this for more than last 30 years and the 'Langar Baba' Jagdish Lal Ahuja has got the recognition he was perhaps not aiming for in the first place. Ahuja will be honoured with a Padma Shri. He has been awarded the prestigious award for his selfless social service spanning decades. He is 84-years-old.
'Langar Baba' Jagadish Lal Ahuja was born in Peshawar, Pakistan. He came to India after partition. The chaos that ensued at the time of partition forced Jagdish Lal Ahuja to be the sole breadwinner of his family.
He worked hard to become a self-made crorepati. But his urge to do something for the society saw him sell his property worth crores and start the langar that has been a great support to patients and their relatives who come for medical treatment and can't afford to buy expensive food.
Ahuja set up his langar in the 80s. He shifted his langar outside PGIMER in the year 2000. Since then, he has been serving food to people till date.
The man serves more than 2000 people daily. Nothing has stopped his daily routine. He is not deterred, not even by stomach cancer he suffers from.
A Padma Shri to 'Langar Baba' Jagdish Lal Ahuja is a fitting way to honour his relentless social service. But for a man of his dedication, this perhaps will be just another day as on the next, he will again set out on his mission to feed the poor.