South 24 Parganas:
Water was sprayed on devotees from drones as they prayed and chanted mantras at the Gangasagar in South 24 Parganas district on Thursday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Giving a modern twist to the traditional holy bath, the state government took this initiative in view of rising COVID-19 cases. The holy bath in Gangasagar via drone will continue on Friday as well.
Despite the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, lakhs of devotees turned up for the event. The water was sprayed on devotees as they offered their prayers.
The Calcutta High Court had asked the administration to insist that people opt for e-bathing this time. Hence, E-bathing kits are being prepared and sent to devotees who apply for it via post.
Block Development Officer, Sagar, Sudipta Mandal told ANI that four drones were used for the event.
“Four drones are being used as a part of this event. One drone is used to announce to all to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols and another displays banners of the event. The third one is a high-capacity one which has a sensor. It is used to bring water to the devotees. The last drone is used for sanitisation,” he said.
Mandal said that proper social distancing is being followed and people are coming in batches to have their holy bath.
“250 people have taken their holy bath so far. It will go on till tomorrow. We have enough manpower for this,” he added.
Makar Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival in the Hindu calendar, in which devotees make offerings to the deity Surya. The day marks the first day of the sun’s transit into the Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.