“The pandemic is a bit of a worry, but we are taking all precautions.”
Despite its struggles battling the coronavirus pandemic, India still went ahead with a massive religious festival. Hindu pilgrims gathered along the banks of Ganges River for Kumbh Mela, a celebration that usually draws millions over the course of seven weeks.
Attendees take a dip in the river they believe to be sacred for the purpose of washing their sins away and achieving “moksha,” which means freedom from the cycle of death and birth.
According to organizer Siddharth Chakrapani:
“The pandemic is a bit of a worry, but we are taking all precautions. I am sure Maa Ganga [Mother Ganges] will take care of their safety.”
Over 700,00 devotees reportedly performed rituals at Har ki Pairi and they had mixed opinions when it comes to the pandemic.
50-year-old Sanjay Sharma, one of the pilgrims, said:
“India is not like Europe… when it comes to immunity we are better. It’s really sad to see people not gathering at Kumbh in the same numbers as they would earlier – just because of a sneeze or a cough … The greatest truth on earth is death. What’s the point of living with fear?”
On the other hand, Lakshmi Sharma, 37, remarked:
“It’s a joyful time since it’s the Kumbh. We just have to try and maintain distance and keep sanitizing our hands.”
Next to the United States, India remains as the second wrost-hit country in terms of total Covid-19 infections with over 10.5 million reported cases since the pandemic started.
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