Devotees taking photographs outside the Golden Temple | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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Amritsar: Sri Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple in Amritsar has remained open throughout the lockdown period imposed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the number of footfalls was said to be less earlier, the crowds have been back since the lockdown was lifted for all places of worship across India and Golden Temple started serving langar and prasad.

The temple was found brimming with devotees when ThePrint visited it between Friday and Sunday.

In violation of the government’s Covid-19 protocols, people were seen refusing to wear masks or maintain 6-foot distance from each other. Even the sewadars and granthis were not wearing masks. Those distributing langar too did not have masks on.

Asked why he was not wearing a mask, a sewadar who was distributing prasad, said, “Baba di kher hai, kuch ni hona (We have our God’s blessings, god won’t let anything happen to us).”

While the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the statutory body running the temple administration, claimed that proper Covid-19 protocols were being maintained, no thermal screening was carried out at the temple’s entrance.

A senior SGPC member had recently voiced concern about the lack of precautionary measures but failed to receive an adequate response. ThePrint has learnt that there was a difference of opinion among SGPC members regarding mandatory wearing of masks inside the temple.

ThePrint’s National Photo Editor Praveen Jain and Special Correspondent Aneesha Bedi bring you glimpses from the ground.

Devotees did not maintain physical distance while having langar at Sri Harmandir Sahib Sunday afternoon | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
People refused to stand 6-ft apart while in a queue inside the Golden Temple | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Devotees at the Golden Temple complex | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Police personnel on duty at the Golden Temple complex were also seen without masks | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
People on the temple premises were seen roaming around without masks | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A sewadar distributing prasad to devotees. No one is wearing a mask | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Women volunteers at the Golden Temple washing utensils that are used to serve langar | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
People outside the main entrance were also seen not wearing masks or following social distancing norms | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
At the shoe stand | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
At least 15-20 people could be seen gathered near the water taps outside the temple’s main entrance | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Sewadars and devotees wash utensils in a common area at the temple’s community centre | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

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  1. A mask is a simple device that helps stop the spread of the virus. All those that want to get close together in a temple will spread the virus to all who enter. Wear masks it is not that difficult!

  2. Mr Parveen Jain,
    Kindly be more sympathetic in your reporting as a responsible journalist. Sachkhand Shiri Harmandir Sahib Shiri Darbar Sahib is a sacred place where anyone is allowed to visit without any discrimination. The uncureable get cured here from physical or psychological ailments. It’s a matter of faith.

    You reported nothing on lines outside the govt offices where people are standing without any masks or social distancing.

    You reported nothing about local markets where people roam about without any precautions. They are eating street food and enjoying from rehri walaa who take no precautions.

    You reported nothing about the Ram Mandir Nirman where the construction is going on full fledged without any precautions. No sikh is reporting bad or interfering in your religious institutions.

    You reported nothing about the govt whose policies have taken Indian economy all time down and people have no jobs , no money and they are committing suicides.
    Sachkhand Shiri Harmandir Sahib shiri Darbar Sahib welcome all such people and give them food to eat.

    Please refrain from attacking Sikh religion, we hate no one nor we interfere in your matters but yes we don’t tolerate interference in our places of spiritual worship.

    Report on Indian economy downfall, report on increase in crime, report on increase in child marriages. There are many constructive issues in National interst which should be reported on. Kindly focus on them and leave religious and spiritual places untouched.

    It’s an humble request.

  3. Why u keeping calling it a temple, ??
    Have u ever called a Mosque a temple ?
    Our place of worship are known as Gurdwaras.
    Just a request !!

  4. I am a doctor and in midst of this all. No wonder Covid patients are on rise in Punjab. As a casual visitor to the market, I see almost 80% of the people not wearing masks. Total failure of Government PR department.

  5. My Letter of Grievance to P.M. on same issue on 11.09.2020.
    Honorable Sir,
    By count of infected or the deaths, the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to the worst in Punjab. A long back, the Punjab government had made wearing face masks mandatory in public. Both the pilgrims and those performing Sewa at the Golden Temple, Amritsar are moving around without masks. Amritsar is among the top four districts with most infected cases.
    For most of the devotees, it is a matter of faith and they believe that they cannot get infected inside the Golden Temple. Being myself a staunch Sikh, I feel that faith and reality are face to face today. People are getting infected and are dying. Voluntarily or by fear of police, in the society, people are abiding the protocol of social distancing and wearing face-masks but on entering the Gurudwara, they violate it. Not only this, the violation is setting up a wrong example for the masses by TV coverage of hours together.
    Golden Temple is at the center of the walled city. The people are more prone to higher number of infections owing to the narrow lanes and by-lanes and dense population. Many areas of the walled city have already remained containment zones. Average foot fall has increased at Golden Temple and people do not seem to have any fear of spread of infection. Sir, this is a pandemic, a deadly catastrophe which people have never experienced before. The belief of the people or the protocols must address to the gravity of problem. If not acted swiftly and rationally now, there may be an irrecoverable loss. Today, face mask is as important as covering the head.
    In the Golden Temple, the prime responsibility to implement the worldwide set COVID-19 protocols and to save the people lies with premier and topmost organization of the Sikhs, the SGPC.
    For god sake, Sir, please issue an advisory to the SGPC regarding wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing.

  6. Rab moat likh ke bejda hai
    Ye karona sab bahana h.
    Jisdi aayi onu jana paina.
    Tere ko yahi social distance dikhai de raha govt or factory me visit kar ke dekh

  7. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    You don’t see where God is protecting everyone thousands people goes there but no one gets corona virus . That place is such a heaven if anyone has having a disease that can’t be cured and if takes amrit there with shardda and willing that person’s can be cured within seconds but if you have doubts on God and thier undefinabe power then there is no use .
    You can yourself try this but on way going there are no thought of unwillingness but utter god name on your way and you will see the ultimate power of ulimate god .
    For him nothing is impossible
    It’s just corona

  8. The management at Golden Temple should take all precautions for Covid 19 & enforce them among devotees so that no spread of the disease happens.

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