As Kashmir continues to battle floodwaters, the langar or community kitchen facilities of the Golden Temple and other shrines here are putting in all the efforts to cook as much food as possible for the tragedy-hit people.
After a request came in from J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) that had sent 25,000 food packets to Srinagar on Friday, doubled the number by sending 50,000 food packets through an Indian Air Force plane on Saturday. Since there are four desi ghee paranthas, dry vegetable (potatoes) and pickle in each packet, 50,000 packets are good enough to serve 1 lakh people.
Since the Golden temple witnesses huge rush of devotees during the day and the community kitchen is almost packed, langar for Kashmir is being cooked through the night, 11pm to 6am. At the Golden Temple langar hall, too, about 100 extra sewadars (volunteers) are on the job.
The langar is wrapped in aluminum foil and sent to the airport in packets in the morning. On Saturday as well, the SGPC sent its vehicles carrying langar to the airport around 11am.
Darbar Sahib manager Partap Singh said, “We have no problem of resources and the sangat (devotees) is helping us in a big way.
For Sunday, rice was to be cooked for 1 lakh persons. “We are not given any specific time limit, but we are always ready to send as much cooked food as possible. The kitchen here is already cooking for 24 hours,” said the manager.
Notably, the SGPC, which was depending on a private airline till now to send food, got relief as the air force on Saturday came forward and took 50,000 packets.
Besides the cooked food, the SGPC is also sending dry rations, including wheat, rice, sugar, pulses and milk powder.
IAS officers donate
The IAS officers of Punjab have decided to donate their one-day salary for flood relief in J&K. “In this hour of distress and calamity, we have decided to express solidarity with the flood-affected people,” Punjab IAS Officers Association president Suresh Kumar.