DIMAPUR: The Sikh community in the entire state of Nagaland is said to constitute around seventy-five families.

In Dimapur, the largest city in Nagaland, their small number has not prevented Sikh families from living in accordance with the principles of the Sikh faith.

Volunteers from the Sikh community have been preparing and providing free meals to Dimapur’s hungry and desitute almost every single night, all year round.

The Gurudwara in Dimapur is one of the four Gurdwaras in Nagaland and the oldest. The other three are in Mokokchung, Tuensang and Kohima.

In addition to the feeding the hungry, the Gurudwara in Dimapur has also been quenching the thirst of thousands of inhabitants of the city with no access to clean drinking water.

Just about anyone can draw filtered water from the taps at the Gurdwara. Kumar, a regular who also relies on the free water service provided by the shrine stated that, “I always come here to get drinking water for my family because this water is so clean and pure and its always free and available”.

The service has been available to the people of Dimapur since 1951 by the Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha.

The former president of Gurdwara committee, Harjinder PS Ahluwalia said the Sikh community tries its best to let people sleep without an empty stomach.

“We serve 200-250 people every night and most people that come to eat at the langar are people that are not accepted by the society,” he said, making it clear that the community’s motive was to feed these sections of society regardless of their different beliefs.

Ahluwalia explained that when the langar opens every evening (except Saturdays), people from different walks of life sit together in a line and eat together the vegetarian meal that has been prepared, in accordance with Sikh teachings on the equality of one and all.

“When I started langar in Dimapur, it was every Sunday where free meals would be given but after a few years, another person, Saurav Arora with the coordination of Punjabi Youth Forum took over and now it is six days a week except Saturday,” stated Ahluwalia.

Harjinder Singh states that ‘not a single penny is used’ from the Gurdwara and all the funds for the langar come from well-wishers.

“Just the other day, a person went to the ATM across the Gurdwara and donated a cash of INR 20,000 for this cause,” he said. He then confirmed that the Gurdwara has enough “ration” for a whole year too and not a single day was disrupted due to lack of funds.

Ahluwalia said that the hungry come with hope of filling their stomach for the night or take some back home for their children and families—which they get, with no questions asked.

The benevolence does not stop at the free meals. The Sikh community all distribute blankets to the homeless during winter.