Spiritual factor of venue makes organisers skip non-vegetarian dishes for delegates.
Tirupati: This much-revered pilgrim city has had its impact on guests and delegates a the Indian Science Congress: All of them turned vegetarian irrespective of whether they were from within the country or abroad.
All dining halls — one for VIPs and seven for others — served vegetarian dishes for lunch and dinner. And, the vegan menu will be maintained on all five days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A Delhi-based caterer, who has arrived here with 150-200 cooks from Faridabad and Patna said, he was told to stick to the vegetarian menu, a fact confirmed by top sources of the Indian Science Congress Association. “The reason is obvious: This is a temple city, and irrespective of where our guests and delegates come from, they will be served vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said an organiser.
And while VIPs at the inaugural were presented idols of Lord Balaji, all Nobel laureates and guest speakers were given portraits of Lord Balaji as mementos. The caterer has been told to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for 15,000 delegates, and an equal number of gate-crashers who include the staff of the state government, cops, volunteers, and those of the city municipal corporation, who are keeping the campus sparkling clean.
This afternoon, however, VIPs and scores of delegates were forced to wait as food trucks from the kitchen could not reach dining halls thanks to overzealous security men. The trucks and the restive staff had to wait for all VIP vehicles to head out of the campus before arriving at dining halls.
Unlike in the previous editions of Indian Science Congress at Mysuru, where there were one dining hall for VIPs, and another for thousands of delegates, students, and volunteers, resulted in arguments, this time the organisers ensured entry into separate dining areas with the help of stickers of different colours and bar codes on entry passes. These bar codes also helped identify each delegate, student or volunteer as their pictures flashed on screens of work stations installed nearby.