The gurudwara in Dadar, one of the biggest in the city, has undergone an overhaul over the last six months after the Guru Singh Sabha, the central community body for Sikhs in the city, spent more than Rs 50 lakh to install new facilities.
Paying guests, who would earlier have to make do with mattresses on the floor, have now been provided with more than 100 bunk beds and lockers and a bigger space after the Sabha expanded the musafir khana (accommodation) to include a 5,000 square foot room that was earlier rented out.
The community centre can now accommodate up to 250 people, 100 more than before. About 350 people attend the langar (meals) thrice a day.
The musafir khana mostly houses patients who come to the city for medical treatments, and also accommodates students and job applicants who stay for a few days before their exams or job interviews. Almost 70% of the guests are non-Sikhs.
For the guests, the modernisation is a pleasant change. “These facilities are as good as a hotel, but more affordable,” said Rumpa Das, a Kolkata resident who is in the city with her husband for his cancer treatment.
The facilities have been fully functional for the last two months. “We decided to bring in beds after we noticed that senior citizens faced difficulty in sitting down on floor mattresses,” said Manmohan Singh, secretary of the Guru Singh Sabha.
“We installed a lift two years ago, after an aged woman was unable to climb the stairs. We are constantly trying to upgrade the musafir khana,” said Singh..
The Sabha also plans to set up a software to let people book their accommodation online from anywhere in the country.
Guests are charged Rs 80 a day for a single bed and Rs 200 for a room.