News Karnataka
Friday, March 31 2023

SHAME: Railway officials dampen spirit of Sikhs to serve ‘langar’ at station!

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Mangaluru: There are very few who opt to do something selflessly during times of crisis and these few often face a lot of adversities. The Sikh community of Mangaluru, who ventured out to provide free food to people starving due to impact of demonitisation too are seen returning home with heavy hearts.

Demonetisation: Sikh community members hold 'langar' at M'luru railway station to pacify hunger -1

On Saturday morning as many as ten Sikh families settled in Mangaluru resorted to serving hot dal-rice to people free of cost at Mangluru Central Railway station after opening two counters, but the ill-manners of a Railway Protection Force officer and others has reportedly bogged the volunteers down to the extent that they do not want to continue their service.

It is said that while one RPF official obstructed to the volunteers serving food, some others billed off the Sikh community’s service as ‘creating nuisance’.

Speaking to, a volunteer, on conditions of anonymity said that an altercation first broke out with the RPF man who obstructed to the service by stating that the counters must be shifted to a remote corner.

“We said that since we were serving langar (free food), we wanted people to notice that food is being served here. The whole purpose would fall flat if the counter is shifted to some other point, where people cannot reach easily,” he said adding that a local television reporter who was present at the spot supported the volunteers and made sure that they could continue the service.

When the chaotic scenes settled, another bunch of railway officials approached the volunteers stating that they were dirtying the place by littering the food and plates around.

The volunteers convinced the officials that there was no littering of either food or plates and when the officers had nothing much to say they left the place smugly. Later higher officials of Palakkad Division come to picture and settled matter.

However, repeated efforts to get the stalls re-located to a remote corner, specifically to clear the path to railway canteen is now being read by the volunteers as ‘clear conspiracy’.

“We had come with all enthusiasm to serve the people. But, these incidents have insulted us and we have been hurt. We did not expect any kind of gratitude. Our purpose was served and we have received blessing from thousands of people who relished the food. But, having said that, we have decided not to continue the service for the third day,” said the volunteer.

Some onlookers who were witness to the arguments between volunteers and the Railway officials say that the officials may have been instigated by the Railway canteen and stall owners because not many passengers and visitors to railway station entered these canteen and shops. Most people thronged the counters to relish dal-rice that was cooked with lots of love from their Sikh brethren.

The Sikh community members had sought permission for two days to serve the food and did their bit honestly. What is commendable is the fact that the community members had pooled their available money to purchase the commodities and served it to the people who were in need of food, which is an act of greatness considering the fact that at this juncture of time everyone is busy pooling Rs 50s and Rs 100s for themselves.The community’s selfless service should have been lauded, but it is a matter of shame that such selfless people are returning home insulted.

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