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International Langar Day 2018: Sikh volunteers hand out free samosas and curry to end hunger in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 11:45 09 October 2018

Volunteers distribute food in Ilford town centre to mark International Langar Week 2018. Photo: Seva

Volunteers distribute food in Ilford town centre to mark International Langar Week 2018. Photo: Seva

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Hundreds of unsuspecting Ilford shoppers of all faiths and none were surprised to receive free chickpea curry and samosas from Sikh volunteers aiming to end hunger in the community.

Volunteers distribute food in Ilford town centre to mark International Langar Week 2018. Photo: SevaVolunteers distribute food in Ilford town centre to mark International Langar Week 2018. Photo: Seva

Several members of Seva, the Sikh Empowerment Voluntary Association, gathered in High Road on Thursday October 6 to hand out free food and drink as part of International Langar Week.

Langar is the Sikh concept of providing free food to anyone, regardless of faith gender, age or status.

To this end, vegetarian buffets are served in the kitchens of Gurdwaras, or temples, across the world.

Volunteer Jagdeep Singh, who organised the event, said: “It was great to showcase langar to people in Ilford.

“We really want to do our best to help stamp out hunger in our local communities.

“It is important to spread awareness about the help that is available to people through langar.”

Kiran Kaur, 40, was among the volunteers who prepared and handed out the piping hot food.

“Our event in Ilford to promote the concept of langar went really well,” she said.

“We took the concept of langar to the streets and told people the idea is that everyone can sit down and eat – regardless.

“It’s a unique concept – it is food for people who need it.

“Anyone can go to a Gurdwara for a free meal.”

According to the Sikh Press Association, Sikhs provide more than 25,000 meals a week through serving the food on the streets across the UK.

The association’s Jasveer Singh said: “The practice of langar is something that has been ongoing every single day for over 500 years, having been started by the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”

“It now sees over six million meals served every single day in Gurdwaras from Brazil to France.

“Through raising awareness about langar, we want to help this practice grow.”

As well as food and drinks, volunteers handed our educational leaflets explaining the concept.

Langar Week, organised by the Sikh Press Association, aims to encourage more people to use this free food service which is part of the setup of every single Sikh temple in the world.

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