With blessings from Corona Devi: Solapur's Pardhi community believes they have divine protection amid pandemic

Coronavirus has disrupted normal lives and we have all witnessed that. And as PM Modi has, on numerous occasions, rightly pointed out - the virus does not discriminate between any religion, caste, and class and one should take all precautions to avoid the spread of the virus.

However, Maharashtra's Pardhi community has refused to follow social distancing norms, use of masks, and hand sanitizers as they believe that 'Corona Devi' will protect them from the virus.

Now, this is a story from Solapur. Undoubtedly, people's belief has been a cause of worry for the administration. A Business Line report states that the officials are now making efforts to dispel the rumor.

In the last few months, too, the members of the Pardhi community in Barshi Town have sacrificed chicken and goats and offered it the 'goddess'.

Now, lets shed some light on how 'Corona Devi' came into existence. Corona Devi was christened after a woman claimed that she had come in her dreams and told her that she wishes to stay in the locality. Now, the resients of the town claim that no one was infected with the virus because the devi "protects" them and keeps them safe.

The administration is worried about the rumor becoming a religious fanfare and it would be difficult to bring the situation in control. The report also states that people already want to take darshan of the goddess.

“As people from other areas started visiting the locality we went there with doctors and explained the gravity of the situation. The spread of education is low in the Pardhi community and hence rumours spread fast. We have filed cases against two people under the Disaster Management Act, IPC- 188, and the Epidemic Act," says Santosh Girigosavi, Barshi Police Inspector.

Solapur has 4,959 active cases and the total count has reached 20,456. 791 people from the district have succumbed to the virus.

Well, having faith is fine but one needs to draw a line especially when a pandemic has hit the country and there has been no respite from it in the last 5 months.

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Free Press Journal