http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=251752&n_date=20060216&cat=India Individuals can 'bid' for Golden Temple 'langar' sewa Amritsar | February 16, 2006 6:42:16 PM IST In a significant departure from tradition the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandik Committee (SGPC) has given the nod for 'alloting' the 'sewa' at the Guru Ram Dass 'langar' (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple to individuals. The first to be given this privilege is Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Samana in Patiala district.The millionaire MLA, who has business interests abroad had made a request to the SGPC in this regard. The request was made after the SGPC executive at its meeting on February 14 it was decided to allow individuals to organise the community kitchen 'sewa' at the Golden Temple for a specified period not exceeding beyond 15-days.The decision was taken following requests by Sikh NRIs that they should be allowed to organise the 'sewa' as they do not get the opportunity to do 'sewa' at the 'langar' due to their short stay in India. Mr Rakhra made a request for organising the 'sewa' for a month but the SGPC allowed him to do so for 15 days.The dates however have not yet been decided. SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur when contacted today said that the decision of the executive did not imply that ''the sewa is up for sale''.He made it clear that the SGPC was not charging many fee for alloting the 'sewa' which is a religious and voluntary act. Elaborating on the decision Mr Bhaur said that the individual organising the 'sewa' will provide the 'rasad' (ration) at his own expense for the 'langar'.The individual and his relatives or friends would be free to participate in the 'sewa', he said while clarifying that other devotees who come to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple can also participate in the 'sewa' as is the custom. The 'sewa' at the 'langar' which is generally performed by devotees includes making 'chapattis',a task usually performed by women.It also includes distributing the food prepared to devotees at the community kitchens,usually by the male devotees and picking-up and washing used utensils,undertaken both by men and women devotees. Mr Bhaur said that the SGPC would however continue to supervise the 'sewa' and maintain the 'maryada' (ritual) of the 'langar'.On days when the 'sewa' is not alloted to any individual,the SGPC will organise the 'sewa',as has been the tradition,he added.