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Wheelchairs to be allowed in Puri Jagannath Temple – Why was it not allowed till now?

No idea why wheelchairs were not allowed in Puri Jagannath Temple earlier but better late than never. The Puri Jagannath Temple has now decided to open its doors to wheelchair-bound devotees. Until now disabled persons cannot go into the temple on a wheelchair. Disabled, old and paralysed people had to enter the temple with the help of family members and temple servitors.

"Every human being passes through phases in his life where he or she is dependent on someone else. The Lord (Jagannath) himself is limbless. But the anomaly is that wheelchair-bound limbless devotees can't have access to the Lord," said Ravi Tripathy, a handicapped and disabled rights activist. (Times of India)

Even though the temple authorities have agreed to allow wheelchairs they have not taken any decision on building ramps.

It seems the administration won’t allow outside or personal wheelchairs. The temple authorities will provide wheel chair (hope it is free and not another way of minting money.)

Times of India reports

"We had a proposal to make special arrangements for the handicapped devotees. We are seriously considering the proposal. We will implement it soon," said Kashinath Pujapanda, a temple official.

The rights forums have also demanded ramps in the shrine.

Several disability rights groups had last month given a memorandum to the temple authorities to make facilities for the handicapped. A group of disabled has also decided to enter the temple on wheelchairs on October 2 -- the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi -- as a mark of protest.

"A disabled person often faces problems if he or she wishes to enter the temple. A handicapped devotee is often taunted by the temple servitors. Though the temple claims to have provisions to carry disabled devotees through temple servitors, I being a woman would not like to be carried by male servitors," said Shruti Mohapatra, the convener of the Women's Cell of Disabled People's International

O Lord! It is time for you to arrive and cleanse some of your abodes on earth, which have been converted into business establishments and beyond the reach of common man and those with disabilities.

Dharma Samsthapanarthaya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge…