New Delhi: Carrying forward the tradition of serving food through community kitchens beyond the walls of gurdwaras, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Monday started 'Langar on Wheels' to provide food and water to the destitute.
Even though the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, lack of income and dwindling finances have pushed people into a state of deep despair and distress. To ensure that no one sleeps empty stomach, estimated fifteen thousand people living in Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters, railways stations, bus stands, rain shelters and pavements will be served food daily.
Committee President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that 15 vans will leave Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, situated in the heart of the national capital, in the wee hours of the day and serve food to people at various places across the city.
"They will be left in a lurch if proper food etc is not provided to them," Manjinder Singh Sirsa added. He said that the vow was taken after several NGOs and institutions, which were providing food to the needy amid lockdown, withdrew their services.
The Committee President added that the initiative has been started for one month but will be extended from time-to-time till the economic activities are restored and disadvantaged people are able to sustain themselves.
The Committee will remain in touch with the Sikh leaders, government officials and resident welfare associations of the respective areas to gauge the demand of the food. He added that additional food will be rushed to any place if the demand escalates.
Vans with banners highlighting food and water arrangements for needy persons will also be stationed at different places like railway stations and bus stands. Those in need will be served 'langar' at a convenient place with social distancing.
Harmeet Singh Kalka, General Secretary of the committee, said that the decision to start 'Langar on Wheels' has been taken as it was 'impractical' for most of the poor people to find the nearest Gurdwara. "Now, we have decided to go where the people are."
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had earlier launched a similar community kitchen initiative for migrant labourers at around ten locations in the national capital region.