Visitors of the Golden Temple in Amritsar are soon to be served healthy, freshly produced organic food at the community kitchen. The management committee has made a landmark decision to adopt organic farming to grow its own grains, fruits and vegetables, free of chemicals.A new mission undertaken by The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), they also aim to inspire farmers to take up organic farming and cut down on the use of chemical products.
The SGPC now grows its own organic vegetables and fruits on 40 acres at Gurdwara Gurusar Satlani Sahib and Patiala.
In the first phase of its experimental model, carrots, cabbages, spinach, and fenugreek or methi seeds from this farm have been successfully grown. About 10 quintals of organic produce are sent to the gurudwara every one or two days, according to SGPC officials.
The Punjab Agro Industries Corportation Limited (PAIC) was instrumental in helping the SGPC to test its soil and suggest options for organic farming. The experts at PAIC also advise them on how to replace pesticides and the use of organic fertilisers. They’ve suggested the use of neem patta, lassi and cow urine, among others.
The langar, or community kitchen, at the Golden Temple is the world’s largest free kitchen. It is popular for serving food to everyone irrespective of caste, religion or background. The gurudwara’s community kitchen, Guru Ramdas Langar Hall, receives nearly 100,000 people. It serves 200,000 roti made of 7000 kilograms of wheat flour, 1200 kilograms of rice, and 1300 kilograms of daal. The kitchen is manned by 450 dedicated people and many volunteers.
The SGPC is the apex organisation of Sikhs that manages all the gurudwaras in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. After its success at the Golden Temple, the move would be replicated to other gurudwaras in the country.