Milk, flowers, and other offerings in temples often go to waste. However, several temples across India are taking active measures to reduce this wastage and utilise them in a better manner.
Take this Mumbai temple, for example. The flowers and leaves offered on the premises are used to maintain about 150 trees! Another innovation by engineers from Ahmedabad will turn the offerings into organic manure to enrich gardens. Read the story here.
Devotees visiting the Gangadhareshwara Shiva temple in Bengaluru would offer milk to the idol, and several litres of it would go to waste, on a daily basis.
The temple authorities have started an initiative wherein the milk is made into buttermilk and offered to devotees.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Eshwarananda Swamy, the head of the temple said, “I was doing research for a long time as to how best we can serve devotees. I have also read that as milk is a very important product, it is better not to waste it.”
Great care had to be taken to ensure that the milk being used, was not mixed with any other offerings. The authorities made it a point to focus on the purity of the milk while undertaking this project.
“We do perform abhisheka, but take adequate care that other items used in abhisheka such as vermillion or turmeric don’t get mixed so that the milk doesn’t get spoilt.
Then, we follow a hygienic process wherein the milk can get fermented so that it turns into buttermilk. As it takes a day, we usually serve buttermilk on Tuesdays.”
But they didn’t stop at that. The authorities ensured that they don’t create any more waste by using plastic while making or serving the buttermilk. Speaking to BM, an administrator, said, “We need to follow a strict hygienic practice. We have also been in touch with food experts on the quality of buttermilk offered. Since we started serving buttermilk, we are getting more milk from devotees.”
And this buttermilk is not restricted only to devotees who offer milk; the temple is inclusive in distributing it. As Radha Devi, a devotee said, “It’s not that only those people who offer milk are given buttermilk. Anyone can avail it. The buttermilk can be taken home or consumed at the spot itself.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)