DEHRADUN: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged to curtail and keep the ongoing Haridwar Mahakumbh 'symbolic' given the Covid situation in the country, seers, saints have come out in his support.
The PM took to Twitter to share that he has spoken to Mahamadaleshwar of Juna Akhada, Swami Avdheshanand and requested that the mega event be kept symbolic from now onwards.
मैंने प्रार्थना की है कि दो शाही स्नान हो चुके हैं और अब कुंभ को कोरोना के संकट के चलते प्रतीकात्मक ही रखा जाए। इससे इस संकट से लड़ाई को एक ताकत मिलेगी। @AvdheshanandG— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
Swami Avdheshanand, Mahamadsleshwar of Juna Akhada, the most influential and powerful akhada among the 13 akhadas talking to the media said, "We support honorable Prime Minister's appeal and now the Kumbh is symbolic only. No one is saying that Mahakumbh should end. We appeal our emotional devotees to try and not travel to Haridwar in big numbers. Also, now we can all see that the numbers have already shrunk."
He also added that the akhada are following Covid 19 guidelines religiously.
"The number of tests conducted in akhadas are unparalleled. Seers, saints area volunteering for test themselves to ensure that the infection does not spread. I too have been tested for total 12 times for Covid. That is why situation in Haridwar and Uttarakhand state is not as bad as others states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh and others," said the seer.
He further informed that he spoke to the PM as well as the union home minister Amit Shah who inquired about well being of seers and saints.
"Our honourable leaders were concerned and worried about well being of against as well as people. I want to say that faith and devotion are no small thing but life is more precious. Saving people's life is above faith. And gradually we are moving to make the Kumbh symbolic.
Clarifying on the disputes between akhadas over the duration of the mega event, he said that no one has said that the Mahakumbh has ended. "We are of the opinion that now that all the main Shahi Snans have concluded, we should keep the event symbolic."
Earlier, after PM Modi tweeted at 8.50am, support to his appeal started pouring in.
Immediately after the PM's tweet, Mahant Narayan Giri, International spokesperson of Juna Akhada told TNIE, "Earlier too, we had appealed to devotees in January only to not travel to the mela given the pandemic situation apart from saints and seers. Two seers each from all 13 akhadas will gather for April 27 Shahi Snan."
Mahakumbh 2021: Watch Mahant Narayan Giri, International spokesperson of Juna Akhada, the most influential, powerful akhada supporting PM @narendramodi' s appeal for symbolic Kumbh! @NewIndianXpress @TheMornStandard pic.twitter.com/3iotV94afl— Vineet Upadhyay (@VineetTNIE) April 17, 2021
He further added, "Covid 19 pandemic is global issue and we all should be vigilant and careful. We have bene following Covid guide lines from the begining. Now that honorable PM too supports our vision of symbol Mahakumbh, we arr committed for the same."
Uttarakhand has registered a whopping 89-fold increase in the duration of April 1-15 in comparison to February 14-28.
Total 172 cases of Covid 19 surfaced from February 14-28 while 15,333 cases surfaced from April 1-14 amid ongoing Mahakumbh in which over 50 lakh gathered in two days- April 12 and 14.
The number of daily Covid cases have reached 2000-2500 per day after the commencement of the Mahakumbh in Haridwar on April 1 compared to the 30-60 cases everyday in February in the state of Uttarakhand.
A review meeting on Covid 19 situation in the state was taken by Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday.
The CM instructed to ramp up testing and ensure all precautions to check the spread of the virus.
A total of 2,402 new Covid cases surfaced in Uttarakhand on Friday taking total active cases count in the state to 13,546. The recovery rate further came down to 85.01% with positivity rate of 3.65% across the state.
Meanwhile, the state has vaccinated a total 12,85,993 people out of which 2,25,005 have got second dosage of the vaccine too.
The state has conducted a total 3,22,404 tests in last 16 days.
This is an average of 20,150 tests against the Uttarakhand High Court directions of testing a minimum of 50,000 samples in Haridwar only.
Anoop Nautiyal from Social Development for Communities Foundation which has been analysing the Covid 19 data since March 2020 said, "This is big. I am thankful to our honorable PM to take the initiative. This is the time that leaders like him should do what needs to be done. I hope that now Mahakumbh will be symbolic."