Last year lifelong Birmingham resident Jagjit Singh detailed his charitable work on the ITV website during Langar Week, an international awareness campaign about the practice of langar; free vegetarian food served on the streets and in every Gurdwara by Sikhs all over the world. Jagjit Singh here updates us on how his project Zero Hunger with Langar, which has taken this concept to Malawi, Africa.
Since Langar Week last year, many memorable things have happened during the Zero Hunger with Langar project. Many I have documented many in my daily banter blog.
One of the most memorable things is missing my daughter’s birthday.
Zero Hunger for Langar started in 2016 after I watched Sikh community leader Bhai Mohinder Singh’s UN speech on building bridges through religion. In Sikhi (Sikhism) we have a natural bridge builder in langar; a free vegetarian food service, open to all for both consumption and voluntary service.
A quick google search showed me langar would be most useful in poverty stricken African nation Malawi. I went to see Bhai Mohinder Singh at Soho Road Gurdwara to humbly suggest something be done to take langar there. He sent me packing. Literally. Within the week I was in Malawi.
There, in an impoverished village, I met a charming boy called Fraser. In conversation, I learned Fraser didn’t know when his birthday was. I asked him what he would want if he could have anything in the world to celebrate his birthday. “I just want a fanta” he said.
That year I went home from Malawi for my daughter’s birthday. I told her about Fraser not having a birthday of his own. “He can have my birthday daddy” she responded.
So this year I fulfilled her wish by spending her birthday with Fraser. And a can of fanta of course.
Just like my daughter did for her 10th birthday, Fauja Singh, the oldest marathon runner in history, pledged his 106th birthday to a Malawian child, raising enough for 75,000 meals. International model Pardeep Singh aka Singh Street Style did the same and raised enough for 26,000 meals. Dozens of others have done the same. You can too. Click here for more information.
The Zero Hunger with Langar project held an exhibition this week in Birmingham’s Custard Factory, letting people know that gestures like the above have contributed to us serving over 1.2million meals in Malawi so far, as well as purchasing a farm there to ensure the langar will be sustainable. The meals are served in schools, helping children stay in school rather than being forced out to work to earn money to eat, ensuring a brighter future for all.
But we need more, because they need more. Find out how you can help by clicking here.