Thursday 23 November 2017

Malabar counting ‘Ganga’ blessings in a bottle

MALAPPURAM/KOZHIKODE : Bottled holy water from river Ganga sold through post offices under the brand name ‘Gangajal’ is finding more takers from the devotees in Malabar. As per figures with the Postal Stores Depot in Kozhikode, the department recorded sales of 2,947 bottles until October 2017, since the launch of the scheme on July 10, 2016.“The demand is going higher and we have enough stock at the depot,” said a senior officer with the department.
Bottled Ganga water is brought from Gangotri and Rishikesh after purification and it is stored at the Postal Stores Depot at Chalappuram in Kozhikode. ‘Gangajal’ is sold at 18 head post offices and 37 Mukhya Dak Ghar across Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod districts. The 200 ml bottle of ‘Gangajal’ from Rishikesh costs Rs 15 while the 500 ml is priced at Rs 22. 
The holy water from Gangotri is costlier with 200 ml priced at Rs 25 while the 500 ml bottle costs Rs 35. 
During the period, 1,100 bottles of 200 ml ‘Gangajal’ from Rishikesh were sold while the sale of 500 ml water from Rishikesh stood at 978 bottles. In the case of ‘Gangajal’ from Gangotri, 477 bottles of 200 ml were sold, while a sale of 392 500 ml bottles was recorded. 
With its dense population of Tamil Brahmins, Palakkad records the highest sale of bottles followed by Kannur. According to the Postal Department, more than 30 per cent of the total sales was registered in these two places.  According to Vadakkepattu Narayanan Namboothiri of Vadakke Madham Brahmaswam, the holy water is known for its healing and purifying powers. “It purifies the soul and heals ailments,” he said. 
“Right from the ancient scripts, River Ganga is an integral part of the Hindu belief. It’s because of this people are interested in its sanctity. Even a few drops of the water can physically, mentally and spiritually rejuvenate devotees. “As the river originates in the Himalayas, the water is said to have strong medicinal properties.”  The scheme was launched by Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Manoj Sinha in 2016 to ensure the easy availability of Ganga river water for devotees.
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