Chapra, May 16 : While business activities are almost at a standstill due to the lockdown imposed by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a dhaba owner is providing food and snacks to the returning migrant labourers at no cost.
The ‘Aditya Raj Dhaba’, situated on the national highway in the Rilliganj police station area of Saran district on the border of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, is a relaxation point for migrant labourers coming from Uttar Pradesh. Dhaba owner Basant Singh has transformed his dhaba into a langar and is feeding around 500 people everyday.
The owner of the dhaba in Majhanpura village near Manjhi has locked the cash counter for the people eating here after the lockdown. Singh told IANS: “I get self-satisfaction by doing this. After all this is humanity.”
He said, “After the lockdown started, a large number of labourers are coming daily to Bihar and Jharkhand through Uttar Pradesh. A batch of labourers arrived about 17 days ago and asked for food, they had no money. I felt very satisfied in feeding them and thus the process started.”
He said that people who come in the morning are given ‘gur-chiwada’ (jaggery and pressed rice), while from the afternoon a meal of rice, pulses and vegetables’ is served which lasts till late night. This place is also being sanitized.
“500 to 700 people are eating here every day. More people reached on Thursday so the vegetables have finished,” he told IANS.
Singh said: “Initially some problems were also faced, but now the villagers are also giving full support. The villagers are donating vegetables, rice and pulses. The cooks are also not taking any remuneration for the work terming it ‘shramdaan’ or social service.”
Mohan, a labourer from Chanpur in Palamu district of Jharkhand said that coming from Delhi, many people gave them puri, kachori, snacks etc but they got ‘dal-chawal’ only here.
Returning to his village with 25 people, Mohan said, “Singh gave me a meal after which I was very satisfied because I got to eat such delicious food after a long time.”
Singh also gives some dry ration to the labourers for eating on the way.
The government has ordered the opening of some dhabas (eateries) on the national highway.
(Manoj Pathak can be reached at [email protected])