Day labourers and homeless people queue up to get free food during Photograph:( AFP )
Before the lockdown, the gurudwara would serve between 30,000 to 40,000 people but now they provide food to almost double that many people.
India's nationwide lockdown has rendered thousands of people jobless and in this context, community service has become extremely important. Leading this effort is a Sikh shrine in India's national capital. The Bangla Sahib gurudwara feeds close to 75,000 people every day.
The nationwide lockdown has not discouraged the gurudwara from helping the marginalised community. They have stepped up their service. Before the lockdown, the gurudwara would serve between 30,000 to 40,000 people but now they provide food to almost double that many people. Volunteers work in two shifts to meet the growing demand. The kitchen starts buzzing at around 4 am and keeps running till 7 pm.
They have acquired a new roti-making machine which can churn out 3,500 rotis in just one hour. Everyone working in the kitchen has been asked to wear a mask and also carry a sanitiser. Once the food is prepared and packed, government officials pick up the packets and distribute them across the city.
Earlier, hundreds of volunteers would throng the kitchen hoping to provide service but since the lockdown started - the entire workload is being shared by the 5o-odd people who've taken refuge at the shrine.