'Feel very happy, first step towards gender equality'

'Feel very happy, first step towards gender equality'

Bindhu Ammini is lecturer in a law college. (Credit: Facebook)

Bindhu Ammini, one of the two women who became the first under the age of 50 to pray before Lord Ayyappa, said their visit was the first step in “ensuring gender equality” at the famous shrine in Sabarimala in Kerala.

Speaking to DH over the phone, the woman said she and Kanakadurga reached Pamba, the foothills, on Tuesday morning and approached the police for help in visiting the shrine. After the police accepted their request, the woman stayed in Pamba for the whole of Tuesday.

Both women are in their 40s.

“We began our trek to Sabarimala at around 1.30 am and prayed before Lord Ayyappa at around 3.30 am. After the prayers, we climbed down the hill along with male devotees,” Bindhu told DH from an undisclosed location, where she is lodged now.

The police have taken them to a secret location after they reached Pamba. “Since there are threats for our life, we cannot disclose the location,” Bindhu said.

The woman said the police was cooperative and they faced no major protest from fellow male devotees while trekking the 4-km long hill. Since the women did not carry traditional irumudikettu, sacred offerings for the god, they did not climb the 18 steps.

“I feel very happy. This is the first step towards achieving gender equality at the Sabarimala Temple. Hope many women seek inspiration from our act and visit Sabarimala,” she said.

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