Ways to enhance the Thaipusam experience

Devotees carrying pots of milk at the Thaipusam festival on Sunday. The writer hopes live music can be extended to cover their journey.
Devotees carrying pots of milk at the Thaipusam festival on Sunday. The writer hopes live music can be extended to cover their journey.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Kudos to the Hindu Endowments Board for having organised this year's Thaipusam festival with decorum and dignity, where the interests and comfort of the devotees were given priority ("Live music gives lift to Thaipusam celebrations"; Monday).

The following could, however, further enhance the Thaipusam experience.

First, the decision to provide live music for the kavadi carriers should also be extended to cover milk-pot bearers, who make the same 4km journey earlier in the morning.

Second, providing drinks and food for devotees along the route is a thoughtful gesture.

However, although bins and garbage bags were provided at the side of the road, plastic bowls and bottles were indiscriminately thrown all along the route, making it hazardous to devotees who make the journey barefoot.

Third, except for the unavoidable pauses at road junctions, the journey up to Clemenceau Avenue was fast and smooth.

After that point, the pauses became more frequent and much longer. The crowd started getting restless and noisy, and the devotees, too, were starting to feel the strain.

This unnecessary long wait, which occurs year after year, is due to the bottle-neck at the junction of Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue.

This problem, associated with Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, can be resolved with closer coordination and cooperation between the temple and the Hindu Endowments Board.

Overall, the success of the event demonstrated the religious and social harmony that prevails in our country.

Padmini Kesavapany (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2016, with the headline 'Ways to enhance the Thaipusam experience'. Print Edition | Subscribe