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Separate queues unlikely for women at Sabarimala

A view of the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.  

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) will arrange toilets and shelters for woman devotees at Sabarimala and Nilackal, Board president A. Padmakumar has said. He added that there were practical difficulties in arranging separate queues for women at the shrine.

He told The Hindu on Sunday that he had called on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the issues at Sabarimala against the backdrop of the Supreme Court order permitting entry for all women to the forest shrine.

He said the Chief Minister has assured all governmental support to the TDB for the smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage season that begins in mid-November. Mr. Vijayan was of the view that only those Ayyappa devotees who knew about the prevailing facilities and situation at Sabarimala would undertake the pilgrimage to the forest shrine. The Chief Minister said that Sabarimala could never be treated as a tourist place, according to Mr. Padmakumar.

Additional land

Regarding the TDB demand for an additional 100 acres of forestland at Sabarimala, which is situated in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, and another 250 acres at Nilackal, the Chief Minister said he would take up the matter with the Union government.

The government would deploy more women police personnel at Sabarimala and the Nilackal base camp during the annual pilgrim season. The TDB expects 30%-40% increase in the pilgrim influx during the pilgrim season.


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Printable version | Oct 10, 2021 7:54:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/separate-queues-unlikely-for-women-at-sabarimala/article25089728.ece

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