"It was not just enough to see women as mothers but also hold them in high esteem," said Senior Congress leader B. Janardhan Poojary

Senior Congress leader B. Janardhan Poojary performed ‘pada pooja’ to a 76-year-old retired teacher belonging to Scheduled Caste and carried out ‘urulu seve’ (rolling on the ground in the courtyard of the temple) at Gokarnanatheswara temple at Kudroli here on Tuesday.

Mr. Poojary along with some Congress workers donated rice and took part in the ‘Chandika Homa’ at the temple. It is said that the temple has been founded by social reformer Narayana Guru.

“This is all for the welfare and well being of women,” Mr. Poojary told presspersons on the occasion and added that it was not just enough to see women as mothers but also hold them in high esteem. “I know there are critics to this practice. But I am doing it with a noble intention. If there is any mistake, please excuse me,” he said.

Mr. Poojary, members of temple trustees and Congress workers took part in other poojas performed in the temple. “This is for the well being of the victims of rape, including the 17-year-old girl in Dharmastala and the 23-year-old Delhi girl. There are many girls becoming victims of rape,” Mr. Poojary said.

Referring to the ‘pada pooja’ performed on Anusuya Kumar, he said: “This is a mark of respect for the woman who has done ‘Vidya Daana’ (teaching) and brought up many children. This is to highlight the immense contribution of teachers to our society,” said Mr. Poojary. He added: “This kshetra follows principles of Narayana Guru, who vouched for equality and treated everybody as the children of God.”

Responding to the “pada pooja” Ms. Kumar said: “I cannot forget this honour in my lifetime. There cannot be any better compliment than this honour in such a sacred place, which I do not hope to get in the future,” she said. She said she worked with tiny tots in ‘Balawadis’ (kindergartens) as a teacher.

Mr. Poojary said that rolling on the clean area would be better than the ‘Made Snana’ (rolling on the left over food served to Brahmins) or ‘Ede Snana’ (rolling over food offered to god). Apart from Mr. Poojary, Harikrishna Bantwal and Vijaykumar Shetty, former Congress MLA, performed ‘urulu seve’.

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