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Sabarimala temple. Wikimedia Commons

December 5, 2016: The famed Sabarimala temple has dedicated free meals to around 75,000 pilgrims on Monday to wish for the speedy recovery of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, a senior temple official said.

The four meals on Monday will be served free of cost to pilgrims, Travancore Devasom Board member Ajay Tharayil told IANS.


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“A breakfast of upma and curry was followed by a vegetarian lunch. In dinner, ‘kanji’ or a rice gruel along with pulses will be served, apart from a late night meal session,” said Tharayil.

“There seems to be a huge rush of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu today (Monday),” added Tharayil.

Jayalalithaa had suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. She “continues to be very critical”, Apollo Hospitals in Chennai said on Monday.

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The food is served to 2,000 devotees at the temple compound on a hill top and another 1,000 at a hall at the foothill in Pamba.

Pilgrims pay money to the temple board, whose officials oversee cooking and serving of food to pilgrims.

“We have offered special prayers for our Amma (Jayalalithaa). We wish her to get well to resume governance of our state, which has progressed well under her,” said a group of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu.

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Situated in the mountains of the Western Ghats, the Sabarimala temple is four km uphill of Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is accessible only on foot from Pamba. (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

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Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

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