Canada, Oz gurdwaras start free langar tiffin service for students
In a noble gesture, Sikh organisations and gurdwara managements in Canada and Australia have started free packed langar service for students from India.
The service is underway at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey, in Canada since October and students of all faiths are availing it. Special arrangements have been made to prepare food packets at the langar hall of the gurdwara so that students can carry them easily to their residence, school or place of work.
“Students, especially from Punjab, study overseas away from their families for bright future. They have to face a lot of hardships here. So, our committee has decided to help them, which is the mission of our faith,” said Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of the managing committee of the gurdwara.
He said: “Most of these students don’t know how to make roti. Readymade dishes such as pizza or burger prove costly for them. Secondly, they are short of time to prepare meal for themselves since they have to cover long distances to attend classes and also go for work for earning money. Sometimes, many of them sleep without food. Keeping these problems in view, free tiffins are being provided to the needy students as per their requirement.”
“These students are our future and it is our duty to help them,” said gurdwara secretary Bhupinder Singh.
The langar hall is open round the clock and students come here to collect food packets even at night after they get free from work. “We distribute around 100 food packets to students on a given day. Not only Punjab, students from other states across India are availing this facility,” said Charanjit Singh Sujjon, caretaker of the gurdwara, who also serves food in the langar hall. “Ever since the gurdwara started this service, sangat has increased contribution for the langar,” he added.
Other gurdwaras in Canada are also planning to start this service.
This idea of serving the international students has now been adopted by Sikh bodies in Australia too, where this service will be started at Gurdwara Dal Baba Bidhi Chand Jee Khalsa Shaoni, Plumpton, in Melbourne on Sunday to commemorate the martyrdom of Chaar Sahibzaade (four sons of Guru Gobind Singh) and Mata Gujri (mother of Guru Gobind Singh). A Sikh organisation, Sikh Volunteers, will also join the humanitarian cause on January 5, the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
Gurdarshan Singh, a representative at Plumpton gurdwara, said: “Considering busy study and work schedule of international students, the service has been launched with the cooperation of sangat.”
“An online system and mobile application has also been introduced to register the needy students for this service,” said Gurtej Singh, a community activist in Melbourne.