Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sanjha chulha: flame of shared cooking re- ignited

21 Apr 2012 Hindustan Times (Chandigarh)
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar 

FEROZEPUR: "Sanjha chulha ( common oven)", the tradition of communities sharing joys and sorrows over cooking a meal, is back in the state.

Sanjha chulha brings together women from different communities to cook meal together on the common oven. It strengthens community bonds.

Recognising its importance beyond culture, the Graduates Welfare Association of Fazilka ( GWAF) and Guru Gobind Singh Youth Club have made 13 shared earthen ovens across Fazlika's suburban localities of Nai Abadi, Teachers Colony, Basti Chandora, Dhingra Colony, and Zora Singh Mann Nagar.

Sanjha chulha, ingredient of Punjabi tradition for ages; had lost fire of late. The GWAF'S efforts brought it back alive. It started with installing 6 ovens across Fazilka to help poor housewives cook meals twice a day. Seven more will open on Sunday ( April 22), Earth Day.

"In modern times, when the prices of cooking gas has shot up, sanjha chulha will help the poor cut costs," said Lachman Dost of the GWAF.

"Nearly 15 families can cook food on each oven, which is also eco- friendly."

The NGO'S message to the world is that it is concerned over global warming. "Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other poisonous gases into the atmosphere," said Dost. "Sanjha chulha will reduce the burning of fossil fuels at home for cooking. Natural fuels such as wood and coal don't hurt the atmosphere. We will aid India's progress and see a change in people when they cook together."

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