eco-friendly grub: The Panchmandir Durga Puja pandal on Harmu Road in Ranchi on Friday. (Prashant Mitra)
If eco-friendly is the latest festive fad, Panchmandir Durga Puja Committee, Harmu Chowk, has adopted the mantra by opting for a fuss-free method of distributing maha prasad.
In a unique initiative, the committee has decided to serve must-have bhog in round, stainless steel containers instead of leaf plates that usually end up littering the area. The boxes, in turn, will be packed in jute bags.
However, like all good things, the divine food, which will be on offer on Mahanavami — the last day of Navratra —will come at a price. Visitors will be able to get the tiffin boxes full of khichdi, vegetable curry and kheer for Rs 251 each from the pandal.
“Durga Puja is incomplete without bhog and everyone looks forward to savour it. Hence, this time we came up with this unique idea of serving khichdi, vegetable curry and a sweet dish in tiffin boxes so that those visiting our pandal can take it home and relish it and also offer it to other family members. There will be two small boxes inside the jute bags,” said secretary of Panchmandir Durga Puja Committee, Alok Sinha.
The tiffin boxes will be of utility even after Puja is over as chapattis, vegetables and even spices can be kept in them.
Orders have been placed for 200 such boxes and if required, more will be arranged depending on the footfall over the four days.
Normally, bhog is served on leaf plates or polythene bags, which not only litter the pandals, but cause environmental pollution too.
According to puja committee members, the tiffin boxes are costing them Rs 75 a piece.
“As we don’t collect donation and all 50 members contribute money from their pockets to organise the puja, we have decided to take Rs 251 for serving the bhog in proper containers. The amount collected will be used to pay for foodgrains like rice and lentils, milk and vegetables with which bhog will be prepared,” Sinha said.
The committee has decided to purchase 200kg of rice, 200kg of lentil and vegetables in bulk quantity.