Free Food on Fauja Singh's Olympics Torch Route

Prasun Sonwalkar/London
Free Food on Fauja Singh's Olympics Torch Route
Thousands of vegetarian meals will be served along the route of Olympic Torch Relay to celebrate the 101-year-old London-based marathon legend Fauja Singh, who will carry the torch on July 21 when it reaches Newham, near the Olympics Stadium.

Over 15 gurdwaras have joined hands to organise the 'langar' along the 30-mile Olympics torch route from Greenwich Park to Waltham Forest Town Hall.

The 'langar' along the route will serve 'roti rolls' from 7 am to 8 pm in the London borough of Waltham Forest, organisers said.

Fauja Singh, who has defied age to participate in several marathons, will be the star carrier of the Olympics torch on the day.

The 'langar' has been organised by United Sikhs, a charity organisation, to "celebrate the wonderful achievements of this under-spoken treasure of the Sikh community", a press release said.

Parvinder Kaur, manager of the 'langar' project, said: "We are proud to share with the public the 500-year-old Sikh tradition of serving free meals to celebrate the carrying of the Olympic Torch by Bhai Fauja Singh." 

Branded in yellow T-shirts designed with Fauja Singh's image, each volunteer from the Sikh community and those invited from multiple faiths and backgrounds will come together to serve free meals to the local community of the five host boroughs of the Olympics, the United Sikhs added in the release.

Fauja Singh said: "Vaheguru Almighty has given me all the opportunities to do all the other things in life both sporting and personal. I pray that Vaheguru will allow me to fulfil this dream of carrying the torch in my home city in less than a fortnight.

It would be the icing on the cake. To me this is as important as when I received a telegram from the Queen on my 100th Birthday last year."

Harmander Singh, Fauja Singh's coach for the last 12 years, said: "I feel very happy for Fauja Singh to be carrying the torch in London, where he started his career as a marathoner at the age of 89. It was his dream to do so even though he had carried it for the Athens Olympics."

Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, who has been backing the project since its inception, added: "I am happy to be a part of this fantastic event as it embodies everything that I believe in as a Sikh and as a Conservative... I am looking forward to seeing Gurdwaras from all over the country come together to serve others in the name of faith and community."

The organisers have invited gurdwaras from Scotland and Wales to participate in the project, which is billed as the 'largest langar event outside India'.
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