Volunteers aid shrine animals2020.04.22
WHEN Covid-19 came to Nepal (尼泊爾), attention turned to an unlikely group of victims: hundreds of monkeys, cows and pigeons.
Normally, the animals are fed by thousands of devotees at the country’s most revered Hindu temple, Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu (加德滿都).
But under a complete lockdown, people cannot go out. Temples have closed and the animals risked starvation.
Now, every morning and evening, a few guards, about a dozen staff and some volunteers come out to ensure that the animals survive.
“We are trying to make sure that these animals are not starving and they are taken care of,” said Pradeep Dhakal of the temple’s management.
It is common for devotees to feed cows, which are sacred and worshipped by the Hindus, and monkeys, which are believed to be descendants of the Hindu god Hanuman.
Cows line the path leading to the temple and the banks of the Bagmati River, while monkeys roam freely around the forested hill next to the shrine.
Hundreds of monkeys now line up to receive food from volunteers wearing masks and rubber gloves. Each meal takes about four to six sacks of food.
The monkeys have not attacked the volunteers, said Nivesh Dugar, one of the volunteers. Minutes later, a large monkey snatched the plastic basket full of freshly cut-out dough.
Another volunteer, an environmental engineer, said, “We are just trying to help the animals survive.”
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 22 April 2020)
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