Ghaziabad: Women-only Kanwar camp set up in Modi Nagar
Last year, a woman pilgrim was taking a bath and a man was scanning his mobile phone in the vicinity when the woman spotted him. She thought that he had taken obscene pictures of her and was adamant that the phone should be destroyed.noida Updated: Jul 19, 2017 22:38 IST
In a first, the Ghaziabad district administration has set up a women-only Kanwar camp in Modi Nagar. Officials said that the camp was set up to ensure privacy to women pilgrims and ensure that no untoward incident takes place, as reported last year.
“Last year, a woman pilgrim was taking a bath and a man was scanning his mobile phone in the vicinity when the woman spotted him. She thought that he had taken obscene pictures of her and was adamant that the phone should be destroyed. The tussle went for a couple of hours before the camp owners collected Rs8,000, the cost of the phone, and the phone was crushed in front of the woman,” said Atul Kumar, subdivisional magistrate, Modi Nagar.
Since then, it was felt that a separate facility be set up for women pilgrims, officials said.
“The camp was also set up as a part of a unique initiative, as directed by the district magistrate. We roped in local associations for setting up the camp. We are planning for more such camps in the future,” Kumar said.
The women-only camp can accommodate 20 pilgrims and has facilities of toilets, baths and changing rooms.
“Our association is running the camp this year and it has been successful. Recently, we had a doctor couple who were on a pilgrimage in their car. The woman slept in the camp while her husband slept outside, in the car. They both appreciated our efforts,” said Anupreet Kaur, president of ‘Ehsas Mahila Samiti,’ an NGO working for women’s empowerment.
The women-only camp has been erected next to a Kanwar camp at Raj Chopla. The camp includes medical facilities and women constables are also deployed for security.
The camp offers the best possible facilities to women pilgrims who walk afoot during the annual Kanwar pilgrimage from Hardiwar to Ghaziabad and beyond, officials said.
“Staying here is a unique experience as the camp has separate changing rooms, bathing facility and most importantly, ensures our privacy,” said Guddi Chaudhary, a pilgrim at the camp.
It is estimated that 15% of the Kanwar pilgrims are women. The officials of the district administration said that all Kanwar camps have common facilities for men and women.
“We often find women devotees sleeping on roadsides and in other common camps. We appeal to them to make use of our facility. We are also spreading the word so that other Kanwar camps can send women pilgrims here,” said Kalpana Kaushik, another member of the NGO.