Two Sikh langar sewa groups (community kitchens) in the UK have been selected for the prestigious Queen’s Award for voluntary service.
Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS) and Langar Aid have won the award, which as per the UK Queen’s Award website is the ‘highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognize the outstanding work done in their own communities’ and was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
According to the Gazette, UK’s official public record website, Langar Aid has been selected for ‘supporting the vulnerable and promoting equality by following the Sikh principle of sharing food’. Similarly, Midland Langar Seva Society has been awarded for ‘providing hunger reliefs, street feeds and aid in accordance with the teachings of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Randhir Singh Heer from Walsall, co-founder of Midland Langar Seva Society, said, “It has all been meher (blessings) of Guru Nanak Dev ji. We started as a small group in 2013 with 20-30 meals a week and now we are serving 20,000 meals a week in 22 cities of UK. We also run ‘Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Langar Bus’ which tours across UK and serves food to poor, homeless and needy.”
Langar Aid, which has also won the award, is the project by UK-based global humanitarian aid organisation Khalsa Aid International (KIA) which aims at fighting hunger worldwide. “There is nothing more rewarding than providing a meal to a hungry person. We are doing it in UK and worldwide. In UK, we did same during nationwide floods in 2014,” said Ravi Singh, CEO and founder Khalsa Aid.