Denting the image of rising communal hatred in India, one of the most revered Hindu shrines in India, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine has been providing iftari and sehri to the 500 fasting Muslims during Ramadan 2020 who are quarantined at Aashirwad Bhawan in Katra. As per the reports, so far the shrine board of the second richest temple after Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in India, has spent around Rs 1.5 crore in aiding the Covid-19 response. Also Read - Unlock 1, Day 7 LIVE: Syllabus Should be Reduced By 30 Per Cent Once Schools Re-open, Sisodia Writes to Centre
According to Hindustan Times, around Rs 80 lakh has been spent by the shrine board in various quarantine centres at Katra, to provide food to the needy since March 20. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the shrine had converted Aashirwad Bhawan in Katra into a quarantine centre, hosting migrant labourers coming to Jammu and Kashmir from different parts of the country. Reaching Udhampur which is 40km away from Katra, in special Shramik trains and buses, the migrant workers have been observing the annual Ramadan fasts amid the crisis. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: These 7 Cities Contributing 60 Per Cent of Overall Cases | Check List
In an interview with HT, Ramesh Kumar, CEO of the shrine board shared, “In the month of Ramazan, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has been working overnight to provide sehri and iftari to our Muslim brethren in the morning and the evening. We are running a quarantine centre at Aashirwad Bhawan, which has a capacity of 500 beds. Since it’s the holy month of Ramzan and the government of Jammu and Kashmir has been bringing back its residents from different parts of the country, we converted Aashirwad Bhawan in Katra into a quarantine centre in the month of March. Those brought to Aashirwad Bhawan are mostly labourers, who are fasting during the month of Ramazan. So, we decided to provide them sehri and iftari everyday.” Also Read - Coronavirus: With 1,458 New Cases, Tamil Nadu Second State After Maharashtra to Breach 30,000-Mark
As per a pilgrim, those visiting the shrine from across the country for religious purposes prefer facilities of the shrine board in Katra over hotels due to their cleanliness, hygienic food, well maintainence, comfortable bedding and hospitable staff. As per the CEO, the shrine board has been providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to those quarantined in other government facilities in Katra apart from the people at Aashirwad Bhawan.
This building image of communal harmony in testing times like these and otherwise, will make India win one day!