Kochi, Apr 24 UNI | 3 months ago

Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam (SASS), a charitable institution proividing food and other eminities to the Ayyappa devotees at the famed Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, today sought the government to declare the SASS as National Pilgrim Centre.

Informing this at a news conference here, SASS All India Vice President S Sudarshan Reddy and Karnataka State General Secretary B Jayaprakash said considering the charitable activities being done at the Sannidhananm during the fesitval and other seasons to Ayyappa Devootees, the government should favourably consider the request in this regard.

They also calaimed a sum of of Rs 2.5 crore towards providing free food and drinking water to Ayyappa devotees during the festival season.

They claimed that free food were being givien to over 18000 devotees daily.

However, in order to help the hotels operating in the area, the Devaswom Board officials disconnected electricity and water, they said adding that after the SASS started its operation at the hill shrine three years back, around 50 hotels in the first year and 25 hotels in the previous year were closed and only five hotels were remaining, as devotees were getting free food, breakfast and dinner at free of cost.

Alleging that widespread human right violations were taking place at Sabarimala, they said that they were ready to take the contract of toilet cleaning by collecting Rs two per head.

However, their request in this regard was not heeded, which according them was to help the contractors, who were collecting huge money in this regard.

They also charged that though the Kerala High Court in its order permitted the SASS to collect contrinbution for their charitable activities and constuction of food serving hall and a rest house, without stating any reason the devaswom authorities were asked them to stop the collection of contribution from the devotees.

They also informed that they would challenge the decision of the devaswam in the court soon.

(Posted on 24-04-2014)