CHANDIGARH: Ragi Jatha, a group of persons who recite kirtan and play musical instruments, will go to the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara via the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan to sing the holy songs every day and return on the same day. The footfall of devotees, sources say, has gone up. On Monday, despite cold and foggy conditions, 675 pilgrims visited the holy shrine and on Sunday, the devotees crossed 2000-mark.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committe (SGPC) which took this decision said that the services have been offered by the panel after it came to light that there is a scarcity of professional ragis in the neighbouring country.
A roster has been made according to which kirtan reciting duties will be assigned on a rotational basis to the ragis. On Monday, a three-member ragi jatha of Bhai Shaukeen Singh performed Gurbani kirtan at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan. After the SGPC furnished the requisite formalities and service fee of $20 each, they returned in the evening.
The SGPC has also opened helpdesks at over 30 gurdwaras including the Golden Temple and Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Baba Deep Singh in Amritsar to offer free service to the Kartarpur gurdwara-bound devotees for their online registration process.
Only 16000 Indian devotees have visited Kartarpur from November 9 to December 9 against the intended target of 1.50 lakh. The footfall is likely to go up if both the governments amend the October 24 agreement that mandates the possession of a passport as an identification document.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Government and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee have installed two roti-making and atta processing machines to prepare chapatis for the langar (community food) which is served to the devotees who visit the gurdwara. Women of the neighbouring country also help in preparing langar.