Ganga Sagar Mela: Insurance cover for pilgrims will be Rs 5L

KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee government is taking up a slew of measures to ensure safety of pilgrims during Ganga Sagar Mela next year.

While the state government is putting efforts to introduce 'e-snan' on social media, devotees will now be able to avail the holy Ganga water by sending a message via WhatsApp on 7003961108 after paying a nominal amount.

E-snan has emerged as the ultimate shield to attain moksha for devotees who couldn't visit Gangasagar as an aftermath of pandemic. Now all can join the spiritual journey from the comfort of their home space with the commencement of the initiative.

With a minimum price rate the pack entails Ganga Jaal, a booklet, Ganga Matti and Prasad from a brand, Sundarini— run by the SHG women of South 24-Parganas. E-snan is one-of-a-kind effort that would help the mela to reach a global scale, overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic.

"We have started the preparation for Ganga Sagar Mela 2022 six months ago," said P. Ulaganathan, District Magistrate South 24-Parganas.

He reiterated that the authorities are also making arrangements for introducing customised online Puja.

This apart, a new initiative of 'Dhyan Kendra' is also to be introduced for the pilgrims in which eminent personalities will speak on spirituality. The district administration is also planning to hire 20 drones for sprinkling the holy water on the pilgrims.

The insurance cover for pilgrims this year will be Rs 5 lakh (in case of unnatural death of the pilgrim).

Keeping an eye on the pandemic scenario, South 24-Parganas Administration has introduced a brand new

initiative, Sagar Bhraman. Pilgrims can register online and enjoy a ticket to Fussfree travel towards the aisle of Nirvana. All pilgrims would be picked up and dropped off at a fixed point and have access

to all facilities like wheelchairs, dedicated caregivers, so that they can witness the mela without any barrier, free-of-cost.

The Mela is held on Sagar Island in Bengal in mid-January every year. It is the second-largest congregation of pilgrims in India after the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.

Last year, the state government had for the first time made provisions for pilgrims to watch the mela live on the internet.

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