‘Atma Ram’s trip was cancelled twice’ says kin
Delhi resident Atma Ram, 66, was one of the three pilgrims who died during the Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.
The trip was cancelled twice in the past month, his son in-law Raj Kumar Sharma said.
“He was planning to go around July 17, but had to postpone due to an avalanche there. Even earlier, there was a plan to go in June, but that too was postponed due to personal reasons,” said Raj Kumar Sharma. Atma Ram’s son, Vinay Sharma, 34, said, “we tried to stop him, but he said he had to go.”
At their home in north east Delhi, Ram’s family was waiting for his body. Vinay Sharma said that his father had been planning this trip for past two years and was a pilgrim at heart, travelling to all the religious centres across the country.
“We were informed of his demise on Saturday at 9 pm. He had absolutely no health ailments. He had already travelled 20 km of the 35-km journey. He had completed the toughest part of the trek. It was unexpected. We still do not know the reason behind his demise,” said Raj Kumar Sharma.
The Shrikhand Mahadev trek is a pilgrim trail that leads to the Shrikhand Mahadev peak (17,150 ft). Atma Rama along with Kewal Nand Bhagat and Upender Saini had left for the pilgrimage in the last batch on July 25. They collapsed on their way back to the base camp in Sinhgad when they collapsed.
“He was a devotee of Lord Shiva and died in his devotion,” his wife, Kusum Lata said fighting back her tears. “We travelled together, you know. We did Char-Dhaam yatra together,” she said.
Vinay’s elder brother Manoj Sharma, along with others, have gone to get his father’s body. The family is expecting the mortal remains to reach Delhi by Tuesday. “We have not even informed the relatives of his demise. What should we inform them about when his body has not yet arrived,” said Raj Kumar.