Source: The Telegraph, Calcutta
MAIDAN, INDIA, January 9, 2001: Compared to the expected annual 50,000 sadhus that pilgrimage to Maiden for Ganga Sagar Mela, a mere 5,000 are present. Small numbers are attributed to the Maha Kumbh Mela, a rare sacred event coinciding with Ganga Mela this year.Volunteer organizations are disappointed with the turnout at Maidan after preparation for a larger attendance has resulted in food being wasted and accommodations being sparsely filled. Government administration employees assigned to take care of pilgrims are idle. However, each day orchestrators of the Ganga Mela patiently await the arrival of more sadhus.