Around 43 pilgrims from Mumbai were left stranded in Vizag for a couple of days. The group’s bus, which was travelling to Nepal, suffered a breakdown near the Yendada Tank on the National Highway on Saturday. A damaged part of the fuel connector of the bus could not be replaced till Monday and the travellers were in need of a place to stay and sleep. After the bus’ breakdown on Saturday, the pilgrims could not move to a hotel either as their luggage was in the bus. Luckily, the locals in Visakhapatnam stepped in to help out the stranded pilgrims with food and other essentials.
When Activist Sohan Hatangadi was passing by, he saw a large group waiting near the Yendada Tank. Upon enquiry, he got to know that the pilgrims did not have a place to sleep; some were sleeping in the bus while some took shelter in a temple. They were cooking their own food, as they had cooks travelling along with them. Water was a concern but luckily they had a borewell nearby.
Seeing them on the road, Mr Hatangadi contacted GVMC Commissioner Hari Narayanan, who subsequently informed Zonal Commissioner Durga Rao. Following this, Mr Rao, along with his team, organised stay at a Kalyana Mandapam behind the Yendada Petrol bunk. The owner of the Kalyana Mandapam, in a kind gesture, extended the entire facility to the stranded pilgrims for free of cost. There were many youngsters in the group and Mr. Hatangadi says he was very impressed by their courage while staying outside, managing themselves in such tiring conditions.
With the bus finally being fixed, the pilgrims left Vizag at 5:30 pm to Bhubaneshwar and onwards to Kolkata. From there, they will head North and then go to Nepal before returning to Mumbai.