Sangam dons sombre look amid heavy rush of people coming to immerse ashes

A man proceeds to immerse a loved one’s ashes in Sangam on Tuesday

Prayagraj: In a sharp contrast to the scene over a month ago when pilgrims from across the country used to arrive at Sangam to take holy dip in the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna, there is a rush of people coming to cremate bodies or immerse ashes of their loved ones who have died amid the deadly second Covid wave.
Since a fortnight, queues of bodies are seen everyday at cremation ghats of Prayagraj.
A priest at Sangam said, prior to the pandemic, around 100 people used to visit Sangam everyday to immerse ashes of their kin, but since the last month, 300-400 people are coming every dayDuring weekend lockdown, around 300 people arrived at Sangam for immersing ashes, while on week days, the number goes up to 400.
Apart from those from Uttar Pradesh, many people from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states are also arriving at Sangam for the same purpose.
Ram Singh, who came from Shahjahanpur with an urn filled with ashes of his 110-year-old father Hajari, said, “It was difficult to reach here due to the pandemic. But I would not have forgiven myself if I didn’t immerse my father’s ashes in Sangam. Now, my father’s soul will rest in peace.”
“The scene at Sangam has changed completely. Previously, one could witness crowds taking holy dip, but now we only see people arriving here to immerse ashes of the dead. It is heartbreaking. Let’s pray to the Almighty for the safety of our people,” said Kadedeen Yadav, in charge of Jal Police, Sangam.
Abhishek, a local priest said, “Earlier, about 100 people used to visit Sangam everyday for immersing ashes. Now, 300-400 people can be seen. When my clients ask over the phone about when to come here for immersion, I suggest them to wait until the number of Covid-19 cases decline significantly.”

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