Wednesday, June 7

No helmets, No Puja in Odisha

I start this article by an old proverb ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Probably you will understand why after reading the article below.

Over the years, we have seen different approaches and initiatives by traffic department, cops, NGOs to encourage use of helmet among two-wheeler riders. Now, the Odisha police are trying out yet another.

They have persuaded the priests of the highly revered Maa Sarala temple in Jagatsinghpur district to refuse the special puja for vehicles if the owners turn up without helmets. The temple, believed to be more than 1,000 years old, attracts thousands of devotees from Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Cuttack and Puri districts.

Upon every purchase of a vehicle or bike, it is almost a rite of passage to perform a puja for it. Many also take their vehicles to the temples for occasional pujas. Which is exactly where the road safety awareness initiative – the brainchild of the district police and the temple management – comes in – No helmet, No puja 

The temple priests nearly refused to perform pujas of over 20 helmetless bikers. The temple gets its fair share of motorists – on an usual day the number of bikers touches 50. On festive occasions, there are as many as 100.

The temple’s head priest Sudam Charan Panda has said he would make all efforts to ensure the implementation of this new strategy, in close coordination with the police outpost.

We would like to hear from you. Please type in your comments / opinions on this initiative by the admins of temple.


Image source: 1, 2

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