Ayyappa Seva Sangham to arrange facilities for Sabarimala pilgrims

The Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham (ABASS) has decided to widen its coverage of free food and other basic facilities for the pilgrims on the traditional forest route of Azhutha-Karimala-Valiyanavattom during the coming Mandala-Makaravilalakku season. ABASS centres would start functioning from the Mandalam season, which begins in the middle of November, instead of the Makaravilakku season in January. He said that the four ABASS camps at Azhutha, Kallidamkunnu, Karimala and Valiyanavattom will offer facilities to the pilgrims from the first day of the Mandalam season in November.

The facilities at the camps include free food, medicated water and medical assistance. He said that the decision to increase the services was taken in view of the heavy flow of pilgrims witnessed through the traditional route during the last two seasons. The Forest Department’s decision to slash the number of EDC hotels and other shops during the coming pilgrimage season was also another factor behind the move, he said. The ABASS had already instructed the camp officers to take immediate measures, including transportation of food materials, for the distribution of free food. In the case of Karimala, one of the earliest and major camp centre on the traditional forest path, camp officer Gurumoorthy Chettiar had started preparations for opening the camp, he said.

The ABASS had sought the permission of the Forest Department for to set up the camps. At Valiyanavattom, the largest camp of ABASS on the traditional route, the camp will have more facilities for the pilgrims. At Karimala and Valiyanavattom, the ABASS will have round-the-clock medical assistance, including the service of full-time doctors, he said. For achieving the objective, an additional 100 volunteers will be deployed at the four camps, Nair said.

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