A hand pump located inside the premises of an ancient Hanuman temple in Uttar Pradesh is visited by hundreds of people irrespective of their religion every day. Reason: its water is said to have miraculous healing powers.
Hindus, Muslims and people from other religions have been lining up before the hand pump, installed within the gate of the Hanuman temple in Jagnewa village of Jalaun district, for the past seven days. Jalaun is located 200 km from here.
People first take a 'parikrama' (round) of the hand pump and offer prayers before partaking of the water.
"Around 1,000 people from different parts of Jalaun and nearby villagers are visiting the temple every day to drink the water, which can cure chronic ailments," Chhoti Dulaiya, head of Jagnewa village, told IANS over telephone.
"You can sight Muslim women clad in burqas lining up before the hand pump, waiting for their turn to offer prayers and conduct parikrama," said Dulaiya. He added that one of his relatives who was suffering from eczema all over his body got cured after drinking the water.
According to locals, the hand pump's water recently turned miraculous after a saint from Madhya Pradesh "infused it with therapeutic properties".
"An elderly saint named Geeta Nandji Maharaj, who visited the temple around 10 days ago and took shelter in the temple, has made all this happen," said Sanjeev Gurjar, a resident of the area.
"Initially, after the saint's arrival, some villagers whose relatives or family members were suffering from chronic diseases went to seek his blessings. To their surprise, they found that soon after the blessings, their relatives and family members became healthy," he added.
According to locals, when people started arriving in large numbers to meet the saint, he told them that he would provide a permanent solution to their problems.
"After this, the saint performed some puja in front of the hand pump, and told the villagers that its water would henceforth treat all their health problems," said another local Devesh Kashyap.
Raees Ahmed, a native of the adjacent Kathaunda village, told IANS that his 10-year-old daughter, who was anaemic and was not able to walk and eat properly, was cured with the hand pump water.
"After partaking of the hand pump water in just two days she was able to stand on her feet and do all her normal work," Ahmed said with relief.
Subdivisional Magistrate of Jalaun, Indra Pal Uttam told IANS: "Yes, it's true that people irrespective of their religion are lining up before the hand pump to drink its water that, according to them, will treat their health disorders."
"The therapeutic properties of the hand pump's water are still to be confirmed. However, if people continue to pour in such huge numbers it will become a challenge for the district administration to control them,'' he added.