Saturday, February 27, 2010

25 lakh women likely for Pongala

Thiruvananthapuram: More than 25 lakh women are expected to make the Attukal Pongala offering in 22 Municipal Corporation wards in the city on Sunday.

The State police have deployed more than 2,500 men, including women constables, for ensuring security, maintaining law and order and regulating traffic at arguably the biggest religious congregation of women in the country.

Hundreds of volunteers from more than 500 residents� associations and neighbourhood watch groups in the city are working in tandem with the police, State government and Municipal authorities to ensure the smooth conduct of the festival. The police have issued identity cards to them.

Many residents� associations have on their own made arrangements for devotees. They have swept clean important roads and cut wild flora on the roadsides for devotees to make hearths on which they will cook rice and palm sugar in earthen pots to offer as sacrament to the presiding deity of Attukal temple on Sunday noon.

Most traders in the festival area have pooled resources to offer drinking water, butter milk, fruit juices, breakfast and lunch to devotees.

The police have issued authorised volunteers photograph-imposed identity cards. Only they will be allowed to work as volunteers in the festival area on Pongala day. The police have restricted the entry of men into the core festival area.

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