SABARIMALA: Even as women in the age group of 10 to 50 try to trek to the Ayyappa temple in vain, some devotees under the age of 10 have launched a novel protest by saying they are prepared to wait before making the trip again.
After the darshan, the girls stand in front of the holy steps with banners saying they will follow the rituals of Sabarimala and return to the hill shrine only after they cross 50 years of age.
On Saturday, nine-year-old Padma Poorni from Chennai stood in front of the holy steps with a banner that said: “I am 9 years old. This is my third visit to Sabarimala. I will come again only after 41 years.”
Devotees are extending support to the young ones by gathering around them and chanting “Swami Saranam”. “I won’t break the centuries-old rituals of Sabarimala. I’m a true devotee of Lord Ayyappa,” said Padma.
Another nine-year-old girl from Madurai unfurled a banner that said: “I will come back to Sabarimala temple only after my 50th birthday.”