The organisers of an ancient Vedic ritual in north Kerala have decided to offer prayers this year for the successful implementation of the Food Security Act across the country.
Praying for the success of the act's ideals "in words as well as deed" will be one of the objectives for 'Soma Yagam', which begins on February 13 in Kozhikode, the yagam's organiser Kasyapa Veda Research Foundation (KVRF) said.
KVRF, however, were quick to dismiss scepticism of linking the ritual with the food security act as being "fetish", arguing that the well-being of the people has always been the objective of yagas since ancient times.
"The essential message of the millennia-old ritual itself is food-for-all," said Acharya M R Rajesh, who heads KVRF, which is into propagation of Vedas by promoting Vedic learning transcending barriers of communities,gender and age.
The Somayagam is likely to see no less than two lakh people partaking of food prepared three times a day, he added.
KVRF volunteers are working in the organising of grains and vegetables for the food, which would be prepared by a 20-member team headed by chef Koduntharapally Viswanatha Iyer.
The mid-day and evening meals will comprise rice, sambar, butter-milk curry, rasam, curd and side dishes like thoran and pickles. Dosa, idli or upma made of wheat or semolina would be served for breakfast.
The organisers claimed they had completely avoided chemical fertilisers in the 2.5-acre garden, where vegetables have been grown and paddy cultivated in Palakkad and Thrissur.
"The harvest was symbolic of retaining the age-old spirit of food-for-all highlighted in the Vedas, said the Acharya, adding it was in tune with the veda mantra "What is taken from the Earth should come up with double its quantity.