Elderly Society of Nepal (ESN) and National Federation of Disabled (NFD) have welcomed Pashupati Area Development Trust’s (PADT) free rickshaw service for elderly, disabled, and pregnant women up to the main entrance of the Pashupatinath temple.
The PADT on Sunday (30th of October, 2018) initiated the first free electric auto-rickshaw service from Char Shivalaya to the southern entrance of the Pashupatinath temple. Two to eight-seat electric auto-rickshaws transfer devotees, from the three categories – elderly, disabled, and pregnant women to the main temple.
Pashupatinath temple, one of the eight cultural heritage sites in Kathmandu valley listed by UNESCO attracts hundreds of devotees from all over the country as well as foreign tourists. After the PADT stopped vehicles at the gate of the temple, the elderly, disabled and pregnant women faced hardships to walk up to the main temple to worship.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Prasad Adhikari on Sunday installed the free rickshaw service. Laxmi Bank provided the auto-rickshaws to the PADT. The free rickshaw service will benefit senior citizens and those with physical disabilities who depend upon helpers to reach the main temple.
ESN President Maha Prasad Parajuli said, “Free rides is good news. Once Nepalese get older, many long for visiting Pashupatinath temple and offer prayers. This free service definitely helps them from the physical strain of walking.” He added, “Many elderly pilgrims from all over the country and foreigners visit this temple. This service is a big relief for them.”
On the second day of the free service, the two three-wheel auto-rickshaws, painted in yellow and white colors, were busy carrying pilgrims inside the premises of the temple.
Mentioning the PADT, NFD Vice-president Tika Dahal said, “This free service is a boon to senior and disabled people. The government should make other infrastructures at heritage sites and public places disabled-friendly,” he said.
Reference: The Kathmandu Post