In an effort towards making India plastic-free, the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi banned the usage of all types of plastic within the Gurudwara complex. According to Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the decision to ban plastic is taken as a part of programs to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Disposable plates, glasses, spoons, polystyrene cup-plates, and other single-use plastics items have been banned. The plastic items have now been replaced with steel utensils for serving water and 'langar' (community meal) to devotees, Sirsa said. Notably, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is the biggest heritage Sikh shrine situated in New Delhi.
"On average, around5,000 poly bags and thermocol cup-plates were used every day to distribute prasad, fruits, and other items to devotees. Now, these have been replaced with eco-friendly jute bags, and dona-pattal (leaf bowls and plates) since October 2," he said.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has set up a recycling plant that can handle two tonnes of flower and 'langar' waste, and dry leaves daily. The organic waste will be converted into manure and vermicompost. According to Sirsa, the fully automatic plant is already running on a trial basis at present to experiment with the zero-waste model and will be commissioned on a full scale in October. The committee has also completely shifted to clean piped natural gas for preparing 'langar' for around 35,000 people daily and has further completely banned the use of wood and charcoal for cooking purposes.
While addressing a gathering at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, PM Modi had emphasised on India achieving the goal of becoming single-use plastic-free by the year 2022. He said, “Sanitation, environment protection, and life protection, these three subjects were dear to Gandhi Ji. Plastic is a major threat to all three. Therefore, we have to achieve the goal of freeing the country from single-use plastic by the year 2022.”
(With inputs from PTI)