Odisha Police Rule: No puja without helmet, temple priests tell bikers

                 There is lots of TV advertisements for awareness of Bike Safety and helmets. Now, the Odisha police are trying out yet another: they have persuaded the priests of the highly revered Maa Sarala temple in Jagatsinghpur district to refuse the special puja for vehicles if the owners turn up without helmets.

Credit:  TheTelegraph

             The temple, believed to be more than 1,000 years old, attracts thousands of devotees from Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Cuttack and Puri districts. In what has become a prevalent ritual, owners of two wheelers take their new vehicles (as well as the old ones) to the temple for a special puja and seek the deity’s blessing for safe rides.

Credit: enjoyingindia
                  The Jagatsinghpur police estimate that 10 new vehicles (on special occasions such as Sankranti, this could go up to 50) are brought to the temple every day for puja. Of the total 16,004 motor vehicles registered in the district, 13,203 are two wheelers. “In view of the high number of road accidents, a meeting was held between priests and the police and it was agreed that the priests will refuse to perform the puja unless the owner
of the two-wheeler brings the helmet along with the motorcycle for the puja,” said Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police Jai Narayan Pankaj. 

             The temple’s head priest Sudam Charan Panda has
said he would make all eorts to ensure the implementation of this new strategy, in close coordination with the police outpost.

Source: The Hindu

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