Children go hungry at Basar temple

Devotees were forced to wait in the queue, partially due to the heavy rush and partially due to the VIPs visits

ADILABAD: Devotees, who thronged the abode of goddess Saraswati Devi at Basar, to formally introduce their children to education on the occasion of the Mula Nakshatram day on October 1, faced many hardships due to lack of facilities and VIP visits.

Many of the children had to go stay hungry for nearly 6-7 hours in the queue as the temple officials failed to provide eatables something that the temple EO had promised before the launch of Sarannavaratri celebrations. It was reported some children even fainted during the long stay in the serpentine queues.

Temple executive Officer (EO) N. Mutyalarao had announced that milk, bread and biscuits would be supplied to children visiting the temple for Aksharabhyasam, as they cannot go hungry for long. However, it proved to be an empty promise.

Sandhya, a devotee from Kukatpalli in Hyderabad, who visited Basar for Aksharabhyasam of their son said they faced a lot of inconvenience due to the poor facilities at the temple. Many of the small children fell asleep due to the long wait in the queue at the temple.

The devotees were forced to wait in the queue, partially due to the heavy rush and partially, due to the VIPs visits. Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy visited the temple along with his family and performed ‘aksharabhyasam’ to his grandson. Similarly, many other government officials of the top ranks too visited the temple when the ordinary devotees were forced to wait in the queue to enable the former have a hassle-free darshan.

The VIPs and top government officials had a comfortable darshan at the temple during the rush hour at the cost of the common devotees, some of who had come from long distances. Many of the devotees were found comforting their kids on their shoulders when they were weeping continuously due to the suffocation and long wait in the queues. Some other devotees even were forced to put their children to sleep on the floor while standing in the queue.

It has been reported that a few pilgrims even picked up an argument with the temple EO Mutyalarao over the poor arrangements and for failing to provide the milk, bread and biscuits for children, which was promised earlier. A few devotees also complained of not being given prasadam by the temple authorities even when they had performed ‘aksharabhyasam’ for their children.

There are allegations that the temple authorities, in collusion with the managements of private lodges and restaurants, created artificial shortage of accommodation at the TTD satram and government guesthouses for devotees. The Basar temple earned nearly Rs 15 lakh on Mula Nakshatram day and it is estimated that more than 70,000 devotees had darshan while akahsarabhyasam was performed for around 2,000 children.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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