Jagdish Lal Ahuja, popularly known as Langar Baba (1930s – 29 November 2021), was a social worker from Chandigarh, India.[1] He was known for offering free meals for hungry and poor people.[2][3] In 2020, he was awarded the Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award of India, for his contributions in social work.[4]

Early life

Ahuja migrated to the Dominion of India from Peshawar, Dominion of Pakistan, at the age of 12 following the Partition of India. His family took refuge in Patiala and then in Amritsar and Mansa.[5]

Social work

Ahuja served the poor and hungry people by organising Langar daily for 2,500 people.[6] He started organising langar at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh in January 2000 when he was admitted there for treatment of cancer. He later offered free meals at the Government Medical College and Hospital, sector 32, Chandigarh as well.[2]

He offered free meals to people for the last 19 years prior to his death.[7][4] He sold a chunk of his 36 acres farm, a 9-acre farm, a plot of one kanal in Panchkula and a couple of showrooms to fund the free meals.[2]


Ahuja was conferred the Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award of India, in the field of social work on 26 January 2020.[5]


  1. ^ "Chandigarh's Langar Baba Jagdish Lal Ahuja passes away". Hindustan Times. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Padma Shri for 'Langar Baba', PGI doc". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  3. ^ "पंजाब के लंगर बाबा को मिलेगा पद्म श्री अवार्ड, पिछले 38 वर्षों से रोजाना बांट रहे लंगर". punjabkesari. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Chandigarh PGIMER doctor, 'langar baba' on Padma Shri list". Hindustan Times. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b Sehgal, Manjeet (26 January 2020). "Hawker turned social worker gets Padma Shri award for running free kitchen for poor in Chandigarh". India Today. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  6. ^ Jain, Bharti; Dash, Dipak K. (26 January 2020). "Padma Awards 2020: 'Langar baba', elephant conservationist among unsung heroes who bagged Padma Shri". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  7. ^ "UP's Langar Baba, 'Encyclopedia of Forest' Among 118 Personalities to Get Padma Shri Award". News18. Retrieved 27 January 2020.