March 15, 2016 1:34:32 pm
In a fitting tribute to the seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai, who was also an ardent environmentalist, a 57-year old farmer from Ludhiana hosted an ‘organic langar‘ on Monday at his farm to observe ‘Sikh Environment Day’.
In a langar (community kitchen), where more than 100 people attended, the menu included food and drinks prepared completely from organically grown vegetables, cereals and even the desserts were prepared using indigenous breed ‘Sahiwal’ cow’s milk.
The langar, primarily a Sikh tradition, was also attended by Deputy Shahi Imam Usman Ludhianvi from Jama Masjid, Ludhiana. The attendees were gifted neem and flowers saplings to mark the day.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jasbir Singh Ghulal, from village Ghulal near Neelon, said that it has been almost 12 years now that he shunned wheat-paddy farming and started growing organic fruits, vegetables, rice and flowers.
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A well-known rose flower farmer in these parts, Jasbir’s farm was visited by Prince Charles during his trip to India.
“The primary source of my income is organic farming now. I know the farmers feel insecure when they think of leaving wheat-paddy farming as organic vegetables market is yet to gather pace. But it is the best feeling when pesticide free veggies and fruits bloom in the farm. Today, I decided to host this organic langar to show that how sumptuous dishes made from organic veggies can be,” he said.
The menu included dal (pulses), mix vegetables, black carrots juice and pickle, gulkand (prepared from roses) and rotis- all prepared using organically grown crops without pesticides. The dessert was ‘kheer’ prepared using Sahiwal cow milk and shakkar (organic sugar).
Ravneet Singh, EcoSikh South Asia project manager said, “Organic food is necessary to revive the true spirit of langar, which is sharing healthy food with the humanity. The campaign aims to make all gurudwara kitchens preparing langar go organic. The target is 50,000 gurdwaras where nearly 50,00,000 people take food daily. It will enhance the demand for organic food, support organic farmers and improve human health.”
The Sikh Environment Day campaign was started by US based organization EcoSikh in 2010, as a tribute to Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh Guru, who planted trees, setup a wildlife sanctuary and a herbal medicinal facility at Kiratpur Sahib.
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