Amritsar (Punjab), Feb 22: As the day breaks and devotees start trickling into the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, hordes of volunteers in the community kitchen are seen busy preparing the first meal of the day. As many as 5,000 volunteers on everyday basis involve extensively in preparing the meal.They chop vegetables, roll and bake chapatis and stir curries in massive cauldrons in the spartan halls of Ramdas community kitchen every day for hours to ensure that none of the devotees goes back hungry. A free community kitchen or `Langar’ where everyone is welcome at any hour of the day regardless of his colour, creed and culture is one of the ethos and teachings of the Sikhism promoting equality and oneness. Ramdas community kitchen is the world’s largest and it instills a sense of equality among the parishioners who sit together on the floor in a line (pangat).As the devotees head out after the meal, volunteers stand waiting in the cleaning area, accepting dirty plates and passing them on where another set of volunteers washes them.Seva, which means selfless service, is one of the tenets of the Sikhism where volunteers render service without seeking any reward or personal benefit. The kitchen feeds around 100,000 people every day and runs round the clock. The number reportedly doubles on weekends and special occasions.On an average, a meal in the Ramdas kitchen uses about 100 quintals of wheat flour, 25 quintals of lentils, 10 quintals of rice, 5,000 litres of milk, 10 quintals of sugar and 5 quintals of clarified butter.
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