Many communities that were already vulnerable have been hit hard by the lockdown, but different sections and individuals have emerged to help them through these difficult times. Gurudwaras in Delhi have carried forward their tradition of serving free meals known as langar beyond their walls. By Manya Saini

Even as lockdown restrictions are relaxed and India begins to unlock in phases, many people like the migrant workers and daily wage labourers remain in financial distress. In a bid to ensure no person sleeps on an empty stomach, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee has started the initiative ‘Langar on Wheels’ for the needy in the capital.

 

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Serving meals to an estimated 15,000 people daily near areas like the railway station, platforms, migrant shelters, rain shelters, and pavements, the community has undertaken the task of helping the destitute through the crisis. Vans with cooked nutritious meals leave one of the most sacred sites of Sikhs in Delhi, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, at daybreak full to the brim with food sent to people across the city.

Those voluntarily engaged in the service are also ensuring that while serving and setting up stalls, social distancing norms are observed by all. Sanitisation and hygiene have also been prioritised to ensure safety.

The initiative, as of now, will run for a month, with the committee expressing that it will extend it depending on the economic activities of these groups resuming. It is also in touch with welfare groups and NGOs to ensure that there is no shortage of food in any area, making sure the demand for food is met. Arrangements have been made to send food to any location where the demand escalates, to ensure no person is turned away.

 

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Earlier, the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee had also started a similar initiative to help migrant labourers by setting up a community kitchen in 10 places in the capital.

The project, ‘Langar on Wheels’ was started after places of worship were closed amid lockdown making it difficult for the people to find Gurudwara’s langar. As per reports, Harmeet Singh Kalka, General Secretary of the committee said, “Now, we have decided to go where the people are.”

Related: #SomeGoodNews: Bangla Sahib Gurudwara In Delhi Feeds 40K People Per Day