Tuesday afternoon saw two teenagers Armaan, 15 and Javed, 17, helping their Hindu friends distribute ‘prasad’ to followers of Lord Hanuman on the occasion of Bada Mangal near Bada Chhatta at City Station.
“It gives us satisfaction to be a part of this occasion. We spend hours in giving ‘prasad’ to the people who throng our bhandara,” said the duo.
An all-community Bada Mangal bhandara was also organised by ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ volunteers outside the Saadat Ali Khan Maqbara at Qaiserbagh.
Aloo-poori, boondi laddoo and water were served at the bhandara, which started around 11am and concluded at dusk. Vice-president of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq was among those present there for a while and he even served the visitors.
This bhandara was a reminder of Lucknow’s unique tehzeeb that places humanity above religious affiliations. People from all faiths participated in it.
The group of volunteers has also been involved in philanthropic activities like distribution of woollen clothes in winters. What makes the ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ movement truly special is the fact that it is 100% volunteer-run. The ever-growing group includes people from all walks of life.
Nishatganj had a similar story, where one Mohammad Ali had organised a bhandara, which he said, witnessed more than 500 people since morning. Sweet ‘halwa’ served here was savoured by people who came here.
APRONS, GLOVES FOR COOKS
Shri Om Sewa Samiti organisation of Patel Nagar, Alambagh and Bharat Vimarsh Foundation distributed aprons and gloves to the cooks cooking food in bhandaras all over the city.
They also distributed a few dustbins at places where people were dumping plates on the road. General secretary of the Samiti, Vivek Tewari said it’s the duty of every citizen to ensure cleanliness at the place where food is cooked and consumed.
The volunteers picked up garbage from the road and made people aware about benefits of cleanliness. “We tried to educate people about the importance of food being cooked and served at a clean place,” said Nikhil Chaturvedi, treasurer of the Samiti.