While majority of the world is under lock down; and amongst the many stories we hear of religious prejudice even during such difficult times, we also hear stories of hope and humanity.
Raja Walter is one such example. A resident of the Christian community of Lahore, “Raja” is famous for making delicious burgers and is well loved by his customers. He owns a small grocery store and burger joint in Youhanabad.
Due to the nationwide lockdown most restaurants have remained closed, but Raja Walter opened his burger joint, not to earn money but to provide free food to those who depend on a daily income to eat and feed their families. His aim is to provide food to all deserving people without any sort of discrimination belonging to any religion, color or caste.
A delegation of National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue & Ecumenism (NCIDE) heard of his efforts and spoke to him. Raja Walter told the delegation of NCIDE that he always remembers the miracle of Jesus Christ when he was surrounded by a big crowd and distributed two fish and five loaves among the crowd since it was meal time and no one had with him/her except a small boy who handed over his five loaves and two fish to the disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ blessed the fish and loaves and gave his disciple to distribute among the big crowd. Raja Walter said he does not have support of any NGO, political, religious or social leaders, he himself along with his family members help the affected people by providing free food. He distributes food two times a day 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. He also said he does not plan to stop doing this until this calamity is over. Giving special consideration to the fact that it is Ramadan he said, “People usually come and stand in queue to receive food but when I see a Muslim individual or family I invite them and offer seats and tables inside my small dining hall and serve meals honourably.”
In such uncertain circumstances, we all need to let go of our religious differences and help each other any way we can. The only way we can get through this, is together. It’s time to be like Raja!