In a heartbreaking incident at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, an 11-year-old girl from Tamil Nadu tragically lost her life due to a heart ailment while waiting in the serpentine queues for darshan. The young girl had been battling the illness since the tender age of three, and her demise occurred amid the bustling crowd of devotees on Saturday.
The renowned Sabarimala temple has been witnessing an unprecedented surge in pilgrims, with some waiting for darshan for up to 18 hours. This has resulted in frustration and chaos, leading to a breach of the queue system. Pilgrims, eager to fulfill their religious duties, resorted to jumping over barricades, creating an uncontrollable rush near the sacred steps.
In response to the escalating crowd concerns, an emergency meeting was convened by Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan and Travancore Devaswom Board President PS Prasanth. To alleviate the situation, a decision was made to reduce the virtual queue booking limit by 10,000, now capped at 80,000 per day, down from the previous maximum of 90,000.
To address safety concerns and ensure prompt medical attention in case of emergencies, Kerala Health Minister Veena George announced the deployment of a special rescue ambulance service, Kanivu 108, at Sannidhanam. This strategic measure aims to provide immediate medical assistance to worshippers facing health issues amidst the crowded pilgrimage.
The tragic incident serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges posed by overwhelming crowds during religious events and the importance of implementing effective safety measures. The authorities are working diligently to strike a balance between accommodating the devout and ensuring their well-being during the pilgrimage.