About Mandherdevi Temple :
Kalubai Mandhar Temple is located at Mandradev in Satara District in Maharashtra and is dedicated to Kaleshwari Devi. On the full moon day in Paush month (January – February), a major festival takes place here and is attended by thousands of devotees. Kaleshwari Devi is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti and is a hugely popular deity in this region of Maharashtra. In 2009, Kalubai Mandhar Temple Paush Purnima Festival is on January 10 and 11th.
Kalubai Mandhar Temple is located atop a mountain – 1200 m high.
On Paush Purnima more than 200,000 people gather at the temple. Devotees offer green colored saree to Kaleshwari Devi on the day.
Kalubai Mandhar Temple is about 18 km from Wai and 120 km south of Mumbai.
Mandhardev is one of the challenging AADM sevas starting on 9th Jan and will extend till 12th Jan 2009. DMVs across state are participating in this seva. From Mumbai as usual 100 DMVs are participating where as from Pune around 60, Nashik region 50 and Konkan region 50 DMVs are participating.
Organizing committee member Arvindsinh Natu along with Steering Committee members Harinakshasinh Shetty and Kishorsinh Narvekar are coordinating seva this year.
Why are we Here…?
The most tragic fact about the stampede at the Mandhardevi temple at Wai in Maharashtra's Satara district on January 25 was that it was at once avoidable and inevitable. For the three-lakh devotees nothing mattered - not the steepness of the climb to the temple, the narrow entrance, or the small size of the temple compound. They were many more than the usual number for the doubly auspicious full moon day because it was a Tuesday, a rare combination. By the time the police officer in charge realised, close to noon and the auspicious hour, that the sea of humanity was swelling fast and asked for more policemen it was too late. Thirty men arrived but the situation had gone out of control.
In the space of a couple of hours an estimated 300 people died and property worth lakhs was burnt. Instead of a line of enthusiastic devotees winding their way up the hill, all that was visible was a giant head of fire. Rescue teams that arrived from Pune, 200 km away, could see the fire from miles afar but it took them four hours to negotiate the 12-km ghat road to reach the site atop a 1,200-metre-high hill. There they were faced with treacherously slippery steps, burning stalls, mangled bodies and the prospect of an occasional gas cylinder bursting.
Doctors at the rural and mission hospitals in Wai said that judging by the expression on the faces of most of the dead persons, death seemed to have been instantaneous. It was an important indicator for the investigators as it showed the rapidity with which things happened.
From the death toll to the possible cause, came under dispute. The authorities say 251 people died - 157 women, 88 men, five boys and a girl - while the local people say the toll is much higher and that the bereaved took away bodies to avoid paperwork with the authorities.
Disaster in front of an EYE WITNESS :à Eyewitness accounts of the tragedy vary. The most plausible sequence of events suggests that some devotees slipped on a mix of water from broken coconuts and blood from sacrificed goats, and that triggered panic and a stampede. Packed beyond capacity in a compound, people struggled to find a way out and surged towards the two openings of the compound, one of which had been earmarked for entry and the other for exit. The 30 or so policemen on duty inside were powerless to do anything.
Haribhau Shinde, was witness to the Kalubai temple stampede in which over 300 people are being feared crushed to death.
He had set up his prasad stall as usual on the slope that leads to the temple on the top of a hillock. But around 1 pm, there was a commotion. He looked up to see there was chaos on the slope that led out of the temple, barricaded with bamboo poles on two sides. In 10 minutes, it was over. Then we only saw dead bodies. There were so many. I frantically searched for my brother and sister-in-law. My brother was lying unconscious. We brought him to the hospital.
After the stampede, some people lost their cool and set shops on fire, he added. Most of the shops on the temple ground and the approach road were burnt and razed. Slow smoke rises from them even 36 hours later.
After the incident, there are indications that the district police will press many more men into duty next year. But how can a few policemen prevent a flood of human bodies asked an official
This is the reason We Were Here
MANDHAR DEV ON JAN 2009
There were two base camps for DMV separated as per the shift they will be appointed in. in these camps only outstation DMVs from MUMBAI, PUNE, NASIK, KONKAN region were staying here.
A main camp was at Shree Krishna Hall Located in Wai city. DMVs for 2nd shift (1300 to 2100 Hrs) were resting here during there off time. Whereas the 2nd camp was right at the base in New English school, Mandhar Village. The DMVs of Morning shift (0700 to 1300 Hrs) were resting here during their off time.
All DMVs from different location were gathered together at Shree Krishna Hall on 9th evening. Then there was a meeting conducted by OC and SC team members to give the brief of these seva, its schedule and the complete plan of the seva. After that dinners was served and seva started on 9th Jan 2008 night where local DMVs from Wai , Satara, faltan and nearby centers.
Schedule was as given below :
0700 to 1300 Hrs
Mumbai 50 + Pune 60 DMVs
1300 to 2100 Hrs
Mumbai 50 + [Konkan + Nasik ] 60 DMVs.
2100 to 0700 Hrs
Wai , Miraj, Satara, karad total 100 DMVs.