Mumbai: Not for nothing is the city always known to have a large, welcoming heart. There is a lockdown underway, but people have found a way to ensure that those less fortunate than them are not forgotten.
The Sikh community has been hosting 'langars' (free kitchens) at gurudwaras in suburban Mumbai. The Sukhmani Gurudwara at 10th Road, Juhu, near actor Amitabh Bachchan's bungalow Prateeksha, is where food is cooked every day, to serve at least 750 to 850.
Paramjit Singh Ghai, one of the sevaks at the gurudwara told The Free Press Journal, "From the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdown, we opened our doors to feed the hungry.
Also, employees from essential service departments of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), corporators, regional transport office (RTO) staff, police come here to be served. Our youth brigade also ensures that building watchmen who have no food and hungry migrants in Juhu Market and Juhu Galli get fed."
And it is entirely a voluntary effort. The gurudwara does not have a catering staff but the community comes together to accomplish the needful each day -- residents of nearby buildings and sevaks join hands to cook the voluminous meals.
Conscientious about maintaining social distancing and adopting safety measures in the process. Around 15 people cook food, which is delivered from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, said Ghai.
In Andheri east, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch and Dashmesh Darbar Seva Sanstha in Chimatpada, Marol Naka, are also doing similar work, feeding the disabled, seniors and the homeless. "Since the lockdown began, sevaks have been providing meals to at least 2,500 people," said Sarabjeet Singh Sandhu.