The Char Dham shrines will be reopened as per the schedule but the form of this pilgrimage will be finalised as per the directions of the Central Government considering the situation in India and abroad. The State’s Tourism and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj said this while having detailed telephonic discussions with office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) regarding efforts to tackle the situation resulting from spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The telephonic deliberations on Thursday went on for about 90 minutes during which the RSS office bearers shared their experiences and suggestions for tackling the pandemic.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Char Dham shrines are slated to be reopened later this month. However, considering the restrictions in place for containment of the spread of COVID-19, the State Government will finalise the form of this pilgrimage as per Central Government directions on the basis of the national and international situation.
Maharaj said that whenever the nation faced difficult times, the volunteers of the RSS went to the villages and homes to undertake disaster relief works without caring for their own homes and safety.
The work done by the RSS volunteers to facilitate food for the daily wagers in Uttarakhand during the lockdown is a motivational example for all.
He said, “As soon as there was a hint of COVID-19 in the nation, the Sangh displayed scientific temperament and converted its headquarters in Nagpur into a hospital.
Not only this, it also postponed its national representatives meet scheduled to be held in Bengaluru.” He appreciated the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for deferring all programmes and celebrations of the Sangh till June. Regarding the situation in Uttarakhand, the minister said that considering the rising numbers of COVID-19 patients the district administrations will have to become more alert and active. He said that followers of all religions and members of all communities should cooperate with the state government in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic. Maharaj, who is also the minister in charge of ensuring effective prevention and control of COVID-19 in Haridwar district said that in these difficult times, public representatives and officials should stand with the affected public.
Protection from COVID-19 is possible only by ensuring health safety and ration distribution, he said. The minister further told the RSS functionaries that Uttarakhand will not face shortage of doctors and nursing staff. Concrete efforts are underway to normalise life in the mountainous regions of the state. He also requested volunteers and organisations involved in food distribution to wear mask, gloves and maintain social distancing.