Sivapakyan Amma is a 74-year-old woman from Jaffna who made her 14th trip to Sabarimala by joining the tour party this time. Amma virtually lives in Vallipuram Thalvar Kovil in Jaffna. She does odd jobs and lives off on little monetary offerings given by devotees who come to the kovil. All her children are abroad and she lives alone.
However, her priority in life has been to save almost all the money she receives to go on this Pilgrimage to India. She is always cheerful and has only one meal daily, which is dinner. Devotees who went to Sabarimala this year observed that she kept good pace with other pilgrims. She had been very helpful and friendly towards the first time trekkers.
Her presence in the tour party from Sri Lanka underscored the fact that after a person reaches the age 60, the faith one has in God is immensely helpful. It also gave a message to those who grumble about their budgets being tight that one can still raise funds for a pilgrimage if there is a will.
It’s heartening to hear that the airport authorities here and in India had shown Amma great respect and given her special attention. It might look a hazardous and laborious thing for others to do, but Amma collected her funds in 20 rupee notes, offered to her by kovil devotees.(RN)