Local Muslim brothers backbone of Amarnath journey carrying Hindu pilgrims to the cave

A unique aspect about the Hindu religious pilgrimage, the Shri Amarnath Yatra is that whatever maintenance is required for the yatra and all the necessary things are done by the Muslim brothers’ community. Whether it is related to cleanliness, prasad, horses, ponies, pithoo, whatever our requirements, help is offered along the journey and it is taken care of by our local Muslim brothers. This is a unique example all over the world about brotherhood. I have not seen a better brotherhood than here at Amarnath yatra because I keep travelling all over India, said a Sadhu. We Muslims take care of the bags, mobiles, belongings of the Hindus. This is Kashmiriyat and brotherhood which we keep alive in Kashmir, said a Muslim Sewadar. Local people give a lot of support, leave no stone unturned, says a devotee at a camp. If you ask for a small thing, they give you two rather than one, said the traveller. The local Muslims come over here when the yatra begins and earn for about a month. We lift the bags of travellers from Baltal or Panjtarini towards the Amarnath cave and from the cave back to Baltal and Panjtarini. We carry pilgrims on our shoulders on Palki. Palki is made of poles and chairs. The elderly travel on it. That’s how we make money. What we earn in ten months, when we come to Amarnath, we earn in one-and-a-half months, said palki walas. Then there are those who carry pilgrims on their horses and ponies carry luggages. When our horse gets sick the staff is here at Brarimarg and Baltal who take care of the issue. Insurance of horses also plays a big role in keeping us secure. If any untoward incident happens, then we have to click a photo with the tag on horses to claim insurance of up to Rs 2 lakh provided by the government. We carry the Hindu pilgrims on our shoulders from Baltal, Pahalgam, Chandanwadi to the cave and back. We are all Muslims and we do the job to help the Hindu community have safe darshan. There is unity because of this. I invite the public and the whole country to come here. There is no danger, absolutely no problem, said the horse walas, pony walas, pithoo walas and labourers who are all ready to welcome the pilgrims.

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