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18k devotees to clean 504 derasars

    Jinagnya Yuva group to kick off operation next Sunday.

    Ahmedabad (Gujarat), June 3, 2013: Around 18,000 volunteers have taken up the unique task of washing and cleaning 504 derasars of the city. Organised by the Jinagnya Yuva group, the derasar cleaning campaign, which kicked off last year with 111 derasars, will be carried out on a larger scale on Sunday June 9.

    To spread awareness in the city about the existence of old and neglected derasars, these youths have decided to wash and clean derasars and the Jain idols.

    “There are around 350 huge derasars in the city, out of which 120-odd are more than 100 years old while the rest are 50-60 years old. There are another 150 small derasars on residential premises or homes,” said Mayank Shah, president of the Jinagnya Jain group.

    Many of the derasars have been lying neglected due to which the volunteers have taken up this huge task of bringing them back into limelight.
    Not only the derasars, but the Jain idols, too, will be cleaned with special powder and through proper rituals. “The idols of all the 24 Tirthankars in various derasars will be cleaned using shikhakai powder or other organic powder. Right from the steps of the derasar till the top of the derasar with its flag will be washed and cleaned,” said Shah.
    The project is the brainchild of Sadhvi Maitri Ratna Shriji, who has inspired the youth to come together for the task. The Jain youths were preached how shastras mention that the cleaning of derasars is an important task for the devotees, which would help one purify one’s soul. “But over the years, this shastra was lost in transition and we had forgotten about it, due to which the derasars were lying neglected,” added Shah.
    Incidentally, the volunteers also carried out a rigorous and elaborate survey to identify the derasars, which need cleaning and sought permission from the authorities and residents.
    As many as 111 derasars with 12,000 Jain idols were cleaned last year by 10,000 Jain devotees. The Yuva volunteers will also visit the nearby villages of Ahmedabad to clean derasars. Recently, the group cleaned 17 derasars in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. – News Courtesy: DNA India

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