Mrunal Manmay Dash

The divyangs, particularly those who are unable to walk are continuing to face a hard time for having darshan of Lord Jagannath at Srimandir in Puri despite repeated assurances from the temple administration.

As per reports, the divyangs can only get up to the Singhadwara of Srimandir. But in the absence of a ramp, they cannot go inside the Temple on a wheelchair. In some rare cases, their attendants, if they have any, carry them into the Temple. But it is easier said than done given the huge rush on almost every day of the week.

“I could not have darshan of the Lord. There is no way a wheelchair-bound person can go inside the Temple,” said a divyang devotee, who returned from the Singhadwara.

“I cannot walk. There is a huge rush. People will walk over me if I try to go inside. I can only pray from the outside that something happens and I get to see the Lord in person,” lamented another divyang devotee from outside the Temple.

Meanwhile, the issue of divyang darshan was discussed again in the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration meeting on Wednesday evening.

Addressing reporters, the additional chief administrator of SJTA, Samarth Verma said, “We are developing a system where the divyangs, especially those with locomotor disability will get assistance for darshan inside the Temple. In the present condition, they can only come to the Singhadwara and see the Patitapaban. But the divyangs will soon be able to visit inside the Temple as well.”

The temple administration committee initiated a primary discussion in this regard with ‘Mahaprasad Bojhia’ servitors and other servitors of the temple in March 2023. But the discussion and the resultant decision have not materialised till today for unknown reasons.

A ramp at the North-Gate (Uttara Dwara) of the temple to assist the divyang devotees was envisaged in 2017. But that too has not materialised for some reason.

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