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Give us today our daily bread

Kamal Narang | Updated on May 29, 2020 Published on May 29, 2020

People in Delhi come together to provide meals to hungry migrant workers and others

The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have brought construction work to a standstill, leaving lakhs of migrants without work or food. Over the last few weeks, many have returned to their villages. They walked on the highways and railway tracks, and even crossed rivers to reach their destination, braving hunger, the harsh summer sun and fatigue along the way. The plight of these inter-state workers triggered widespread outrage, prompting citizens and volunteer-based organisations to come to their aid with food and medicines.

In the heart of Delhi, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib — which runs a langar or kitchen through the year — has been preparing meals for at least 75,000 people a day. The food is distributed among migrant workers, police forces and personnel from other law enforcement agencies in and around Delhi. The gurudwara also feeds anyone who turns up at its doorstep for a meal, be it noon or night. A counter for dry rations such as rice, wheat and lentils accepts contributions from citizens. Every volunteer here — whether in the kitchen or accompanying the food trucks — has been provided with face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers.

Also in central Delhi, the Constitution Club of India has engaged its kitchen staff in preparing food for those affected by the lockdown. Queues of hungry people are also seen outside temples and mosques, as well as schools run by the Delhi government. These schools, along with some stadiums, have been turned into temporary shelters for those stranded due to lack of transport options.

Kamal Narang

Published on May 29, 2020