Hanuman Setu temple, Aliganj Hanuman temple, Mankameshwar temple, Gulacheen temple in Aliganj and Gurudwara Ashiana, selected for the first phase of BHOG.
The Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) has launched 'Blissful Hygienic Offering to God' (BHOG) project in Lucknow to ensure that devotees visiting places of worship, get 'prasad', 'langar', 'bhandara' and 'bhog' which is not only safe and healthy but also prepared in a hygienic and clean environment. Besides the sterile preparation, special attention will also be given to the hygienic distribution of the same. This new project has been launched ahead of the festivities of Dusshera and Diwali.
Train Staff to distribute prasad in Lucknow Temples
Originated in 2015, from the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, the project uphold the practice of maintaining cleanliness while handling the prasad, without meddling in any of procedures and routine work at the temples. Shailendra Kumar Singh, FSDA designated officer in Lucknow said, "The project doesn't aim to interfere in the daily work of temples. The FSDA just wants to train prasad handlers and vendors to follow the FSDA and FSSAI standards when it comes to preparing edibles."
Shailendra Kumar Singh further added that "The FSDA wants all religious places to maintain the hygiene standards while preparing prasad. Vendors selling prasad outside temples will be trained to prepare it hygienically."He said, "In the first phase, we have selected four temples- Hanuman Setu temple, Aliganj Hanuman temple, Mankameshwar temple, Gulacheen temple in Aliganj and Gurudwara Ashiana, where our staff will train prasad and bhog vendors as per the food safety regulations. Our aim is to create awareness about good practices right from purchasing raw material to serving the food." For instance, cooks who prepare "ladoos" would be asked to wear gloves, aprons or caps, clean the utensils and use quality food material.
All shops, preparing prasad, in the vicinity of the temples in Lucknow will be given certificates by the FSDA after testing the preparatory procedures. The quality would be then shared with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and those not following the norms will face action.
To maintain health and hygiene during these pandemic days, in a way that the celebrations do not get dull, is a big challenge for the authorities. And the BHOG project, is here to do just that, as it focuses on public health and safety amidst the celebrations. However, all the efforts by the authorities will not be effect without cooperation from the people, hence all Lucknowites are requested to pay individual attention to the hygiene and cleanliness standards at public places as they step out to enjoy the festivities.
-With Inputs from IANS