Bhandara (community kitchen)
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Bhandara is the term used mostly in Hindu caste and some other communities to describe the free meal served to the people invited to the temple. Food is cooked and served to the people sitting right outside the temple. Usually this is done on festival occasions as a part of worshipping the lord.[better source needed]
Bhandara is actually a district in Maharashtra which is known as the “Rice bowl of the country”. Practice of bhandara is mostly done by rich people as an offering to the god they worship. It can also be organized by any individual (referred to as the yajamana) who wishes to worship the lord. This practice was first started by the Hindu religion, later on after 500 years in 1500-1600 Sikhism accepted this practice. In Hinduism, after performing the rituals and worshipping the almighty, the yajamana serves food to the poor and the needy.
The Indian government has introduced a scheme known as ‘'Seva Bhoj Yojna’' to reimburse the government share of the Central Goods and Services Tax and the Integrated Goods and Service Tax for purchases by religious institutions of certain products for providing free meals. It will cover the raw ingredients of meals and is expected to cost a total of Rs. 325.00 Crores in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. To qualify, an institution will need to serve food free of charge to over 5000 people in the year.
- Rebates for bhandara The Indian Awaaz
- James, Lochtefeld (2010). God's Gateway: Identity and Meaning in a Hindu Pilgrimage Place. New york: oxford university press. p. 114.
- Food supplied by religious places exempted from GST finance Deccan Chronicle