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Jains from Mumbai seek Maharashtra CM’s help to save pilgrimage site in Gujarat

The community is of the opinion that a resort built at their pilgrimage site, Palitana, will affect the sanctity of the place

mumbai Updated: Dec 09, 2017 00:24 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Jains,Devendra Fadnavis
Jain monks Naypadmasagarji Maharaj and Sadhvi Mayanashriji with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday

Worried about a pilgrimage site in Gujarat would turn into a commercial hub, Jain monks Naypadmasagarji Maharaj and Sadhvi Mayanashriji met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday and submitted signatures collected by Jain International Organisation (JIO) during a campaign. The delegation met Fadnavis and hope that he raises the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking to HT, Jitendra Sanghvi, chief executive officer, JIO, said the government was in talks with an entrepreneur to approve a resort project in Palitana, Gujarat. However, it did not go down well with the community members.

The community is of the opinion that if a resort is built at their pilgrimage site, it would affect the sanctity of the place as visitors would be served alcohol and non-vegetarian food, which goes against their culture.

“For us, Palitana is a place we go to attain moksha. Many of our teerthankars (religious leaders) have attained salvation there. How can we let some ruin the sanctity of this place for commercial gains?” said Sanghvi.

Around 5,000 members from the community had signed the petition, that was launched at the community growth summit last Saturday in Worli where various initiatives such as medical schemes and an e-wallet app PowerPay was launched.

Apart from initiating a signature campaign, Naypadmasagarji also spoke to Fadnavis about approval for a separate lane on highways for Jain sadhus and sadhvis, who travel across the country barefoot for eight months a a year. As per information available in 2015, under the RTI Act, 42 sadhus were injured and 45 have lost lives in highway accidents.

“We are raising funds in our community to provide helpers and wheelchairs for maharajji, but we want the government to help us because these people have dedicated their lives for the betterment of the community. The least we can do is make their lives a little better,” said Sanghvi.

Sanghvi added that out of 16,000 Jain monks in India, nearly 10,000 are women.

An SMS sent to the CM, seeking his comments, went unanswered.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 00:24 IST