IPOH: The committee managing Thaipusam celebrations here is disappointed that those 18 and below will not be allowed into the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh.
Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah president M. Vivekananda said standard operating procedures stated that those in this age group could not enter temples for the celebration.
The committee manages the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Sungai Pari and the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh.
“I can understand if those 12 and below are not allowed in, but (to bar those) 18 and below... just does not make sense.
“Those 12 and above have already received their vaccinations and should be allowed in.
“Teenagers in their exam year are really upset, as they want to come to the temple to make vows to Lord Muruga to excel in their studies, and for them to get blessings to pass their examinations,” he said when contacted on Sunday (Jan 16).
Vivekananda said since the SOPs were announced on Wednesday (Jan 12), many devotees had been denied entry to temples by Rela and National Unity Department personnel.
He said it had always been the norm for people to carry milk pots and pour them onto the deity to seek blessings, which most children were unable to do this year.
“The committee has installed a huge tank for devotees to offer milk without queuing up.
“The milk poured into the tank will be connected to another one nearer to the priests, who will then perform the abishegam (bathing of the deity),” he added.
He said committee members would sanitise the premises every 30 minutes and ensure that all devotees followed SOP.
Vivekananda added it was also very saddening to see that no kavadis were allowed this year.
“No food stalls, not even take-aways, are allowed and devotees can only stay inside the temple for about 15 minutes after offering milk,” he added.