Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is serving close to 3 lakh meals amid COVID-19 crisis
Gurudwaras have always been known for their generosity. Nobody leaves a gurudwara without having langar, which they serve on a daily basis. From rich to poor, everyone shed their ego outside the door of the holy place and help in cooking, serving, cleaning, and other chores.
And during a pandemic, too, the kitchen of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara – one of the largest in Delhi – is still running, providing meals to the hungry scattered in the city. Irrespective of faith, creed, and background, it is currently catering to the underprivileged who have lost their homes, and others, their livelihoods since the lockdown.
Starting with 40,000 meals a day, the kitchen ramped up to produce 80,000 meals, and then one lakh. Soon, the authorities of the gurudwara say they can serve close to three lakh meals.
According to them, the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in the National Capital has remained a safe haven during extreme times such as wars and plagues, and unconditionally serves simple vegetarian food.
“If we serve at this time, God will give us more. It’s a give and take system,” head cook Balbir Singh said, as reported by the India Times.
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (Image: News18)
Every Sikh temple is known for the integrity it maintains — a place where everyone is considered equals and provided the same respect and comfort as any other. Currently, the gurudwara’s kitchens are run with the help of 48 men who sleep at the temple’s guesthouse.
To avoid risking their families from the COVID-19 infections, these men haven’t travelled to see their loved ones since March 25. They work 18-hour shifts in the temple’s industrial kitchen, with bandanas tied over their noses and mouths. Every day, 35,000 lunches are ready for pickup by 9 am.
“The dining hall heaves with sacks of rice, flour, lentils, and cans of oil — six months of supplies. We believe in God. He’s giving us this power, so we provide,” 27-year-old temple clerk Jagpreet Singh told News18.
Bangla Sahib is using donated ingredients and equipment to produce this food. The government sends trucks to pick up the meals daily to distribute them to shelters and drop-off points but pays nothing for the food.