MP temple installs contactless bell to avoid touch amid COVID-19

The bell starts ringing as soon as a devotee comes under it or folds his hands beneath it to pay respect to the deity due to a proximity sensor fitted near the entrance of the sanctum

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Temples across Madhya Pradesh have reopened after two months with strict guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), which includes that devotees cannot ring the bells. Photo: ANI/Twitter

As religious places are being reopened for devotees after easing of restrictions, a famous Shiva temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur has installed a bell with sensor, which can ring without the need for physically touching it.

According to news agency ANI, this contactless bell, developed by an elderly Muslim man Nehru Khan, has been fitted at the famous Ashtmukhi Pashupatinath Mahadev temple to avoid physical contact and thereby curb the spread of coronavirus.

In Hindu temples, bells are usually hung in the area or porch preceding the inner sanctum and devotees ring them as an invocation to the deity.

Temples across Madhya Pradesh have reopened after two months with strict guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), which includes that devotees cannot ring the bells.

Talking to PTI on Sunday (June 14), 62-year-old Nehru Khan Mev, the brain behind this sensor-operated bell, said, “When I saw that azaan was allowed in mosques after the coronavirus-induced-lockdown and religious places were opened for devotees, I thought that temple bells should also be allowed to be rung.”

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“Keeping this in mind, I got a sensor from Indore and prepared a machine at my factory in Mandsaur at a cost of about ₹6,000 and placed it in the temple,” he said.

The bell starts ringing as soon as a devotee comes under it or folds his hands beneath it to pay respect to the deity due to a proximity sensor fitted in it, Mev, who manufactures small machines at his factory, added.

“I presented this bell to the temple,” Mev said, adding that devotees visiting the temple were happy as the bell can ring without any contact.

Mandsaur district collector, Manoj Pushp, who is also the chairman of the temple trust said, “This bell not only serves the religious purpose, but also fulfills the central guidelines.”

Mev said, “I want that other temples in the country should also have such sensor-operated bells so that devotees coming to the temples can ring it even during the coronavirus scare.”

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“It is necessary for devotees to ring the bell so as to reach God. This type of sensor made it easy for us to ring the bell without touching it. It is very useful during the pandemic,” a devotee tweeted.

The news went viral on social media, with netizens praising the idea saying that a “true India” made the “excellent” decision since “it is a tradition to ring the bell while visiting a temple.”

This famous Pashupatinath temple was opened for devotees on June 8, after a gap of 76 days.

(With inputs from agencies)

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