Shamli : At a time when the whole country is busy debating religious tolerance and playing divisive politics, Hindus and Muslims in tiny Shamli district of Western Uttar Pradesh have showed that there is no better religion than humanity. The district was largely affected by the communal riots in 2013.
Muslims in the district have set up stalls for serving refreshments to devotees of Lord Shiva, who are going for pilgrimage to Haridwar to fetch sacred water of River Ganga. The devotees, called Kawariyas, embark on annual pilgrimage called Kavad Yatra. They fetch holy Ganga river water in pots which is later offered local Shiva temples.
Shamli district has substantial Muslim population. Several camps have been set up to offer refreshments, soft drinks, lassi to Kawariyas who travel hundreds of kilometers on foot. Members of Saifi Samaj in Shamli have also set up several such camps.
Dr Abid Saifi, coordinator of the camps, said “Shamli is always the land of the Ganga’s composite culture. Every year we welcome Lord Shiva devotees and look forward to serving. Thorugh Kavad Yatra we want to send a message of love to the whole world”.