India File

Saving food, TTD style

Somashekar Mulugu | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on April 24, 2017

Prasadam About 75,000 meals are prepared a day

Faith, and an informal system help the temple limit waste

On a typical day, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala serves 75,000 meals in the form of ‘Anna Prasadam’. The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which administers the temple, depends on a well-oiled system and the devotee’s faith to limit waste.

The followers believe that they are consuming prasadam and hence do not waste. Secondly, devotees after standing in queues for considerable time, are hungry and tend to complete the whole portion. There is a second serving if required.

Apart from this, the TTD has an informal system to measure the attendance of devotees. Information is collated from queue complexes, rooms and online darshan requests to decide how much to cook. The battery of cooks then get into action. In case there is a shortage, the items are replenished. Normally, items like curry, sambhar, rasam, chutney are made in advance. Rice is cooked as per need. Excess food is taken out of the huge kitchen complex and transported in bowls in vans to places on the Tirumala hill and served free to the people. The only waste is that of liquid food such as sambhar and rasam, which is disposed off. The number of meals increase to 1.5 lakh during festivals and auspicious dates.

Published on April 24, 2017
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