Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when temple managements are coming under attack for ill-treatment of elephants in the name of festivals, a temple trust here has decided to stop the decades-old practice of parading jumbos during the ritualistic procession considering the plight of the animal.
The trust has decided to use a wooden palanquin in the place of elephants to take out the sacred idols for the ceremonial procession from this year's festival.
The management of Koyikkal Palliayara Bhagavathy Temple at Kumarapuram here recently received a letter of appreciation from Union minister Maneka Gandhi for their pro-animal gesture.
Animal campaigner, People for Animal, had first approached the temple management with a request to stop the practice of parading jumbos.
After discussing it with devotees, the trust decided to use a decorated wooden palanquin to carry the idol during the 'Ezhunnallathu' ritual (procession of deity) of the shrine on April 18.
Ramachandran Pillai, the president of the renovation committee of the temple, said the plight of the elephants during festivities had forced the shrine management to think about an alternative.
He said the elephants, brought for temple festivities, used to be forced to walk many hours at a stretch and tortured by their mahouts.
The volunteers of People for Animal had brought the pro-animal move of the temple trust to the attention of Maneka Gandhi....