Mathura (UP): In a bid to check fleecing of innocent pilgrims by touts masquerading as ‘holy men’ or as guides, a Hindu priests’ organisation will soon issue photo-identity cards for their members in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
"The Akhil Bhartiya Tirtha Purohit Parishad will seek the co-operation of district administration of the respective pilgrim centres in issuing the I-cards," the organisation’s president Anant Dattatrey Joshi (Trayambakeshwar Nasik) said. In order to contain such touts, a website on Dharmshalas located in different pilgrim centres will also be launched, he said after a meeting of the organisation. "The purohits’ tradition of developing a rapport with the pilgrims by providing them all facilities is being subverted by these touts." he said. Owing to apathy by the new generation towards the profession, a degree or diploma course will also be launched, Secretary of UP unit of the Parishad Kanta Nath Chaturvedi said.
"Efforts would be made for starting a Degree Or Diploma for young Tirtha Purohits in order to attract them towards the profession," he said. The organisation’s members lamented that no effort was being made by the government to ensure sanctity of holy rivers and places or providing a conducive environment for pilgrimage. The Parishad also threatened to fast unto death " to preventing the discharge of drain water into Yamuna in Delhi," adding that the discharge of water of Bhagirathi in river Ganga would also be ensured