Poor people and public who do not have money and who could not get proper exchange these days are depending on the local langars of the Gurudwaras for food . They are living on the roits served free by the kitchens of the Gurudwaras. The langar or community kitchen at the popular gurdwara has always been busy, with everyone from local shopkeepers and foreign tourists to the faithful and the destitute sitting down for a meal.
It is reported that even some rich and middle class people who could not get change for the Rs 2000 are using gurudwar kitchens to feed themselves.
But for the past two weeks, the lunch rush at the langar hall has been more hectic than usual, and officials of the gurdwara management say extra food is being cooked.That’s because the usual lunch crowd is now being joined by daily wage labourers, who have been left without work due to the ongoing cash crunch.
With job offers drying up and their pockets empty, labourers from around Old Delhi are making their way to gurdwaras and other religious places in search of a meal.
Every day since November 9, when the government withdrew Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes from circulation, a group of workers are rushing to the Gurudwaara kitchens or the langars for the food. Even at Ramakrishna Matham in Hyderabad food is served on regular basis for lunch and there are more crowds than the usual rush.
Before the cash crunch, the carpenters, painters and construction workers would gather at the chowk in the morning and be picked up for jobs around the city. Now, they wait there all day, hoping to find work.
“We haven’t had any work since the notebandi was announced. So every day all of us go to the gurdwara to eat one meal,” said Gulfam, a painter, pointing towards the out-of-work labourers sitting around the chowk.
Even at Saibaba temples on Thursday large number of milling lines are seen with people coming for the free food. At the gurdwara, the kitchen continues to serve vegetables, lentils, rice, roti and halwa for all.
When the food was over and still the crowds were waiting , the Gurudwara members had no other option but to be busy serving potatoes and dal for lunch and preparing a turnip dish for dinner.
“The volunters at Gurudwara said ” we have seen an increase in the number of people coming since the demonetisation announcement,” he said, adding that gurdwaras across Delhi feed more than a lakh visitors every day.