Even as the fight against the second wave of Covid-19 continues, devotees have been setting up ‘Corona Devi’ temples to seek spiritual forms of healing from the infectious disease in many parts of the country. The latest such report has come in from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, where residents of Shuklapur village have come up with a temple under a neem tree hoping that blessings from the goddess will help tackle the pandemic.
There are multiple videos and photos that are doing the rounds online which show the temple with an idol of ‘Corona Mata’ wearing a green face mask.
‘Corona Mata’ temple comes up under a neem tree at a village in Pratapgarh district
“Villagers collectively decided & set up the temple with belief that praying to the deity would definitely offer respite to people from Coronavirus,” a villager said yesterday. pic.twitter.com/jA3SGU0RQE
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According to local reports, the villagers themselves raised funds to set up the temple. “Villagers collectively set up the temple with the belief that praying to the deity would definitely offer respite to people suffering from Covid-19,” a villager was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
However, all Covid protocols have gone for a toss as people continue to crowd inside the temple to offer prayers and receive prasad from the priest.
As the photos and videos of temple went viral, many pointed out that India has a long tradition of offering prayers to gods seeking protection from diseases. Others joked that instead of offering prasad, the temple should have started an on-site vaccination drive. And most pointed out that steps should be taken to ensure that all social distancing norms are followed by the devotees.
This is not the first temple dedicated to ‘Corona Mata’ to have been set up in the country. Earlier, similar temples have come up in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore and Karnataka’s Madhuvanahalli village.