To assist the vision of Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee to develop spiritual tourism in the Ganga Sagar belt, ISKCON is ready to launch a permanent, semi-mechanized, modern and compact kitchen, which will be capable to prepare up to 10,000 meal per day at the Sagar Island, West Bengal, India, during the Ganga Sagar Mela in 2020. ISKCON’s management hopes this initiative will be helpful to serve the pilgrims and devotees by fulfilling their prolonged demand to have an adequate prasadam facility in a neat and clean place.
The Ganga Sagar Project, an initiative of ISKCON Mayapur, offers people the opportunity to experience hot, sumptuous, nutritionally well-balanced, 100% pure vegetarian sanctified food throughout the year, because the Indian Vedic culture describes that any Tirth-Yatra (pilgrimage) is incomplete without honoring prasadam.
The meal named “Annamrita-Thali”, consists of Rice, Dhal, Roti, Sabji, Pickle/chutney and a sweet, will be available from 8 AM to 8 PM throughout the day, said Sundar Govind Das, Project Manager of ISKCON Ganga Sagar. The semi-mechanized kitchen, where the food will be prepared using steam, is considered healthier than the direct heat of the flame. The devotees will prepare the meal in the compact kitchen, which has been designed in such a way that proper hygiene, food safety & security norms are maintained.
This project has already fulfilled its commitment to serve 100,000 meals during the Ganga Sagar Mela, absolutely free of cost for last 15 years at the Sagar Island.
Apart from the above mentioned festivals it has been decided, that this pilot project will be continued by ISKCON throughout the year by offering meals to the pilgrims on “pay as you can” basis. "Our actual objective is, in any circumstances, no one should leave Ganga Sagar Dham without receiving Lord Kapila Muni’s and Ganga Devi’s mercy in the form of prasad,” said Sundar Govind Das. This project is absolutely non-profit, non-sectarian but a charitable initiative to feed the poor and hungry pilgrims regardless of their cast, creed, race, language or religion, to encourage Universal Brotherhood.
Also, in case of natural calamities and emergency situations, the ISKCON kitchen is capable of instantly rendering relief by supplying food to the affected people, under the guidance of the local Government.
A couple of months ago the island was severely affected by the Cyclone Bulbul, which left trails of devastation. All the communication was shut down for nearly two days, due to which there was more appeal for cooked food among the locals and pilgrims who were stuck in the Sagar Island. This was the moment when the ISKCON management decided to to build a permanent modern kitchen at Ganga Sagar.[ ffl ] [ ganga ] [ mayapur ] [ sagar ]