What is the first thought that comes to your mind at the mention of Kumbh Mela?
Spirituality, religion, holy dip and people who go missing! And all this thanks to the Bollywood movies.
All that has changed. With technology advancement and its effective implementation, this year the Kumbh Mela didn’t register a single missing person. With great pride, the local authorities informed that every single person who has gone missing was reunited with their family.
Apart from technology such as CCTV cameras, public announcement (PA) systems and mobile apps, the authorities deployed 24,000 policemen across Nashik and Trimbakeshwar to ensure minimum chaos.
But managing the mass of pilgrims would have been near impossible even for the cops had they not been assisted by 160 volunteers, who made announcements for missing persons in 16 languages to ensure that no matter where they hailed from, their families would understand the message.
So, though 1,553 people went missing in Nashik and 855 in Trimbakeshwar, all of them were eventually found.
NGOs such as Bharat Bharati started a control room to monitor the crowds and keep an eye out for missing persons. Since the first Shahi Snan (holy bath) on August 26, the NGO received 4,000 calls on their helpline, thanks to the wide publicity it had received through Nashik Police’s posters and banners.
Check out the swarm of Naga Sadhus at the mela…