Some call abhishekam an act of purification of one’s soul, while some say that pouring milk on a Shiv Ling cools the hot-tempered deity. But for the Rotaractors of RAC Bhavnagar Royal, D 3060, providing underprivileged and malnourished children a glass of milk, “does the same thing. I guess you can cleanse your soul and make Shiva happy this way too,” says the Club Secretary Rushit Patanwadiya.
Traditionally Hindus fast every Monday for Lord Shiva and conduct abhishekam in temple. “We decided to convince people to do the ritual with a spoon and dedicate the rest of the milk to feed a hungry child.” Club members went around the city collecting milk, which was then processed for drinking and distribution in slum areas.
Every Monday since July 2017, the club collects 80–150 litres of milk from various Shiva temples in Bhavnagar. The RAC Bhavnagar’s milk van has become very famous, says the Secretary. “When we enter the basti, children run along with the van shouting ‘Dhood ki gadi aagayi.’(The milk van has come.) A few mothers bring vessels to take some milk home too. This is as satisfying as performing an abhishekam.”
The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Ramniklal Rupani, has also appreciated this project.