Children helping out in packing food, to be distributed among the needy and homeless, at the Sector 19 gurdwara in Chandigarh. Each of the 5,000 packets dispatched by gurdwaras in the tricity had three chapatis and one cooked vegetable.(RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Children helping out in packing food, to be distributed among the needy and homeless, at the Sector 19 gurdwara in Chandigarh. Each of the 5,000 packets dispatched by gurdwaras in the tricity had three chapatis and one cooked vegetable.(RAVI KUMAR/HT)

Coronavirus curfew: Religious organisations, NGOs work to ensure no one goes hungry

Kitchens preparing food for distribution to the poor and needy; five persons also quarantined at Nada Sahib gurdwara
By Vivek Gupta | Vivek Gupta, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2020 12:36 AM IST

Places of worship and NGOs are proving equal to the task of helping the poor fight hunger in these troubled times.

In Panchkula, the Nada Sahib gurdwara has been preparing food for over 2,000 every day. Granthi Jagjit Singh told HT that this was being supplied to authorities in Panchkula since March 25.

“We are consuming 1.5 quintal flour, 50 kg rice and over 20 kg vegetables a day. This is set to increase as the Chandigarh administration has also requested us to dispatch food for at least 1,000 people from Sunday,” he added.

The health authorities have also taken 40 rooms inside the gurdwara to quarantine people with manager Jagir Singh saying five persons were quarantined there. In Chandigarh, the main gurdwaras in Sectors 8, 19, and 34, are also feeding the poor.

Tejinderpal Singh, president, Sector 19D gurdwara, said, “With the joint efforts of these three gurdwaras, we have been dispatching 5,000 food packets to the administration for distribution among the poor.” He added one packet had three chappatis and one cooked vegetable and that their volunteers are also distributing langar at ISBT and labour colonies to help migrant population. “Other gurdwaras are also helping,” he added.

Mohali’s Amb Sahib also at forefront

Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Mohali makes food for almost 5,000 people a day. Manager Rajinder Singh said almost 3 quintal pulses and 10 quintal of flour is consumed. “We are dispatching the food in slums and colonies as per Mohali administration directions,” he said. As per the message from gurdwara authorities, any poor person or student in need of food can contact them at 9855003638.

Teams from other gurdwaras located in Phase 4, Sohana, Phase 3b1 and Phase 1 are also providing the service. The bigger gurdwaras are supplying food to 1,000 persons while the smaller ones are catering to around 500, mostly in and around Mohali industrial area, railway station and IT City.

Jagtar Singh, manager, Nabha Sahib Gurdwara in Zirakpur, said, “Almost two quintal of rice and 80 kg of vegetables is cooked here for distribution of food to almost 3,500 poor in Zirakpur town.”

Hindu Parv Maha Sabha, Chandigarh, which represents all 74 temples in the city began distribution of food packets in Baba Balak Nath Temple, Sector 29, on Saturday.

NGOs not far behind

Langer@PGI, an NGO, has taken responsibility to feed the poor at Janata Colony in Sector 25 every day. Its convener Jatinder Kumar said they are feeding over 1,000 people a day. Sorabh Kumar Arora, director, Chandigarh cultural affairs department, told HT that they have received over 100 calls from different sections including religious organisations, individuals and NGOs offering to help.

“Apart from food, we have got masks, hand sanitisers and other essentials that we are distributing among the needy in the UT,” he said. Over 20,000 food packets have been distributed by the UT over the past two days in the city’s slums and colonies.

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