Shri Mata Vaishno Devi temple, which is one of the most revered Hindu shrines in India has raised all the bars of communal harmony amid COVID-19. They have started providing sehri and iftari to the 500 Muslims who are fasting during Ramadan 2020 and are quarantined at the Aashirwad Bhawan in Katra.
During March amid of the coronavirus pandemic, the shrine had converted Aashirwad Bhawan in Katra into the quarantine Centre, hosting migrants and labourers coming to Jammu and Kashmir from different parts of the country.
The labourers who are coming to Jammu and Kashmir are reaching to Udhampur town from the different parts of the country, which is 40km away from Katra, through the special Shramik trains and buses.
Ramesh Kumar, CEO of the shrine board in an interview said that-“in the month of Ramzan, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board has been working overnights to provide sehri and iftari to our Muslims brethren in the morning and the evening and are running quarantine center at Aashirwad Bhawan which is having the capacity of 500 beds.”
He further said that “since its holy month of Ramzan, Jammu and Kashmir government is bringing its residents back from the different parts of the country. So we converted Aashirwad Bhawan into quarantine center in the month of March.”
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“Those people who are brought to Aashirwad Bhawan are mostly labourers, who are fasting during the month of Ramzan. So, we decided to provide them sehri and iftar every day.”
According to the CEO, Apart from Aashirwad Bhawan, The shrine board had been also providing lunch and dinner to those people who had been quarantined in the other government facilities in Katra.
As the shrine board is the second richest temple after Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in India, so far has spent Rs. 1.5 crores in aiding COVID-19 response.
According to the Hindustan Times, to provide food to the needy ones, the shrine board has spent Rs 80 lakhs in various quarantine centers in Katra.
As per a pilgrim, because of its better sanitation and cleanliness, hygienic food facilities, comfortable bedding, well maintenance, and hospitable staff, people who are visiting the shrine for the religious purpose prefer facilities of shrine board better over any hotels.
This step of Vaishno Devi temple has won the heart of many people and bigoted users communalized the issue and slammed authorities of Vaishno Devi temple for their decision.