Sikh sevak, who provided relief to many during corona through his free langar, gets evicted, forced to live on the street

The 84 year old ran 'Guru Ka Langar’ throughout corona, demolished by authorities over conflict with landlords while the case is still ongoing

The 84 year old ran 'Guru Ka Langar

On a secluded section of the Yavatmal National Highway, a ‘langar’ that served over two million hungry migrants during the first lockdown year has been destroyed, reportedly to landlord issues.

Based on the heartbreaking development reported by various media, Karnail Singh Khaira, an 84-year-old Sikh’sevak’ who has kept the ‘langar’ running with the aim of serving the masses on the Yavatmal NH-7 for the past 35 years, has been evicted and is now virtually living on the street.

The ‘langar,’ which became a lifeline for millions of destitute villagers, tribals, and migrants fleeing the lockdown that began on March 24, 2020, was known as ‘Dera Kar Seva Gurdwara Langar Sahib,’ or simply ‘Guru Ka Langar,’ and was located near Karanji village.

Run by Khaira, known as ‘Khaira Baba’ in the region, this langar was responsible for feeding droves of hungry people who arrived there after the initial statewide lockdown. Depending solely on donations, he was able to provide free food and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A despondent Khaira Baba told the IANS (Indo Asian News Service) that the authorities came and demolished the entire 3,000 sq ft ‘langar’, which he had started from zero, nurtured, and built for 35 years a few days earlier due to some conflicts among the land owners.

Khaira Baba, for his part, claimed that it is astonishing that, despite the fact that the dispute between the owners was still ongoing in court, the government ordered the destruction and booted him out.

According to media sources, Shiv Sena (UBT) farmers’ leader Kishore Tiwari had rushed to the now-demolished site for an assessment and blamed the state administration for demolishing the ‘langar’ linked to the historic Gurudwara Bhagod Sahib in Wai, some 11 kilometers away in a forested area. Tiwari, who was fuming at the occurrence of the tragic event, stated that while there was some bickering among the proprietors, this ‘langar’ had been running uninterrupted for over 35 years. According to him, the langar served millions of hungry people before, during, and after the lockdown. He blamed the administration, claiming that the current state government only arrived seven months ago and ordered its demolition.

The Sena (UBT) leader informed Khaira Baba that he would demand proper rehabilitation in the same area, adequate recompense for all his losses, and that the ‘langar’ be resurrected to serve the needy once more. Tiwari went on to say that this is a highly delicate topic that the state administration has handled carelessly and he will take the issue seriously with the relevant departments and ministers.

The saviour during trying times

The coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown had thrown many people’s lives into turmoil, particularly migrant workers, who were forced to return to their homes on foot, with no food or drink.During such tough times, many individuals and organizations stepped up to assist those in need. Baba Karnail Singh Khaira was one such person.

Khaira Baba, who is from Karanji in Maharashtra, served free meals from his rickety hut on National Highway 7 – the only facility that offered meals for 450 kilometers.Since the Indian government declared the first lockdown on March 24, the regular langar, managed by Khaira Baba, had been a lifesaver to more than 20 lakh people.

Those who stopped for meals here were provided a nutritious meal of tuvar dal, aloo-vadi, and aloo vanga, along with soaps and borewell water. Many news reports also provided that every day, the team also fed stray dogs, cats, calves, and other animals.


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