Headache : Arranging women facilities at Sabarimala challenging for govt

Pathanamthitta : The Supreme Court verdict abolishing Sabarimala’s 800-year old tradition, has left govt grappling for quick arrangements of women-friendly facilities for throngs of young females, who will now trek the sacred hills.

With women between 10 – 50 ages now legally entitled to visit the shrine, security arrangements is added headache.

Facilities for female devotees have to be set up at Pamba, Nilakkal and the famed Sabarimala temple nested between 18 hills in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Travancore Devaswom Board(TDB) expects a rise of 40 percent in volumes post the verdict.

Up to now, on an average, devotees between 1 – 2 lakhs arrive on daily basis. That number is expected to rise to about 3 lakhs posing serious challenge to govt and TDB.

The burden comes at a time when the state is struggling to climb ashore, after worst flooding and landslides in a century has left record destruction in its district. Worse, regions along Pamba are one of the worst-hit places.

The verdict
A group of five women challenged Kerala state rule that bars entry of women between ages 10 – 50 at the famed Sabarimala Temple. The petitioners argued that the rule violates fundamental right to equality and discriminates women. The Kerala High Court previously upheld the restriction on entry of women and the case came before Supreme Court in 2006.

On 29 Sep, Supreme Court ended the age-old ban holding that devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.


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