Anti-Pollution Masks For Idols In Varanasi Temples, Common Person Continues To Choke In Polluted Air
The air pollution is adversely impacting the day-to-day lives of the people in North India. Air Quality Index shot up again to a whopping 350 in Delhi and a blanket of thick smog continues to engulf the capital and the surrounding towns and cities.
While we humans are busy battling this menace, looks like the divine gods are not spared as well. The idols in a Shiv-Parvati Temple in the Sigra area in Varanasi were made to wear masks. The idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, and Sai Baba were adorned with anti-pollution masks.
The action was taken by the head priest of the temple. The priest said that if the gods can be covered with blankets in the winter, it is only fair and normal to protect them from the pollution by covering them with masks, The Indian Express reported.
Harish Mishra, a priest in the same temple, told Scroll, “Varanasi is a place of belief. We treat our idols as living deities and take pains to make them happy and comfortable.”
Harish Mishra believes that it is the individual who is causing more harm than good. “Bad air did not deter the people from bursting crackers on Diwali. Now there is smog everywhere. But instead of doing something about it, municipal workers are only adding to the crisis by burning waste in the open,” he told The Quint.
Many devotees who had thronged to the temple were also seen wearing masks.
Another temple in Varanasi, the Tarkeshwar Mahadev also put a mask onto the “shivling”. “The air is polluted in the city and to save ‘Bhole Baba’ (Lord Shiva) from this poisonous air we have put the mask. We believe if he is safe, we will also remain safe,” a devotee of the temple, Alok Mishra, told ANI.
Varanasi is a part of the group of cities under the National Clean Air Campaign, an initiative under the Central government to improve the quality of air in the country. However, there has been no relief from the poor air quality.