The Spirit of Humanity, Delhi’s Bangla Sahib gurdwara is the largest among the ten gurdwaras in Delhi. But it is not famous for its size but it’s an honour and willingness to serve those who are in need. With the calmness and comfort that the sanctity of the holy place provides, it is also known for its “langar” (a term used in Sikhism for community kitchen where free meals are provided to visitors). While everything has been put on a halt that was normal, the custom of langar has been continued at the Bangla Sahib gurdwara.
For centuries the faithful have flocked to the temple for its healing waters and a free meal at the community kitchen, the symbol of equality found at every Sikh temple complex and open to all visitors. The Bangla Sahib gurdwara has remained open through wars and plague, serving millions of people simple vegetarian food on the cool marble floor of its enormous dining hall during the biggest of crisis. In colorful turbans and clothed bandanas tied over their noses and mouths, they work in the industrial kitchen in 18 hours shift. The cooking starts at 3:00 AM in the morning so that 35,000 lunches are ready by 9:00 AM for pickup. The Bangla Sahib gurdwara is providing 3 lakh meals per day With the help of Delhi police.
The Spirit of Humanity, Delhi government approached the Delhi Sikh gurdwara management committee just after India’s nationwide lockdown began on March 25th , according to the president ,Majinder Singh Sirsa. The government sends trucks to pick up the meals each day and distribute them to a network of shelters and drop off points, but pays nothing for the food.
The Spirit of Humanity, The gurdwara has also provided it’s “Sirsa” guest House to doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other staff members of AIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, and other hospitals that are facing accommodation issues in Delhi due to the pandemic. Henceforth, in the time of need, the Sikh community is stepping up again to do their bit to ensure no one sleeps hungry. The tradition continues in dire circumstances, but the spirit of Humanity lives throughout.