BHUBANESWAR: They were the silent foot soldiers on a mission to ensure that the massive Nabakalebara festival ends on a smooth note. And they made it count. Young and old alike, the volunteers deployed for the Rath Yatra emerged the heroes as they swiftly attended to the Grand Road teeming with lakhs of devotees.
As the heat and humidity took its toll and pilgrims started to fall sick, these volunteers were the first to reach the spot and carry them on stretchers to the first aid centre. Even as the crowd was getting restless under the gruelling conditions, these volunteers showed no sign of tiring.
The Swayamsevaks of RSS, volunteers of ISSWAR, Drishti, Marwadi Society as well as those from Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee were busy attending to the sick as well as spraying water on the pilgrims who were waiting for darshan of the Lord. Many of them were seen distributing glucose with drinking water to people to keep them energised.
These volunteers, drawn from across the State, played a perfect complement for the Fire Service and Disaster Response teams and the Red Cross members.