Sunday, November 1, 2009

Batu Caves - Disabled Awaiting for Cable Car

Batu Caves was originally used by the aborigines as their shelter when they go out for hunting. Gradually it became a hot spot for guano collection by the Chinese.

In 1891, Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai. He was inspired by the 'vel'-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga within the caves and since then “Thaipusam” being the special day for Lord Murugan has been celebrate there.

Intially, devotees have to hike wooden steps up to the temple cave. Subsequently the wooden steps were replaced by 272 concrete steps.

Batu Caves which was initially perceived as the Hindu Shrine has been developed and today Batu Caves is a world class tourist spot. Today Batu Caves not only consist of the cave temple but also has an Art gallery cave and a Museum cave. The art and Museum cave exhibit Hindu statue and painting.

Due to the rapid development and the status of Batu caves being a world class tourist sport, the temple management has decided to fix a cable car to assist the devotees and tourist who are unable to hike 272 steps in order to visit temple cave. The cable service was indeed a much awaited event for the disables in Malaysia. All this while, they could only hear the amazing story and the beautiful scenery of the temple cave, they were unable to see it for themselves. Finally, with the cable service many disabled individual managed to go up 272 steps and pray to Lord Murugan and for the non-hindus they managed to witness the beauty of the cave itself. Sadly the cable car services were canceled few years back by the temple management.
Damai Disabled Person Association Of Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan has been advocating the need for the Mariamman Temple management and relevant authorities to revive the cable car service which has been long abandoned.
Damai, with the collaboration of a few NGOs, had in 1999 and 2008 arranged functions to rope in hundreds of volunteers to carry wheelchair-bound individuals to the peak of Batu Caves. It is quite a risky task.

Many of them shed tears of happiness as it was the first time in their lives they had the opportunity to fulfill their vows and seek blessing from Lord Muruga.
Damai feel that it will be good if the temple management revives the cable car service as it is not only beneficial to the disabled community but also senior citizens and people suffering from health problems

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