Maharashtra's famous Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir will resume darshan shortly after a six-month gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shrine has invited a think-tank from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) to help them with the reopening and to guide and instate a mechanism to ensure safe darshan amid the pandemic.
A meeting between the Shirdi Sai Mandir's managing body and members of the think-tank from TTD was held wherein the techniques of darshan to be followed during COVID-19 were discussed. TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy, Board member K Siva Kumar, EO Sri Anil Kumar Singhal, and Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy interacted with Shirdi Board secretary and CEO Kanhuraj Harischandra Bhagate and others on the arrangements and reopening of the Sai Baba shrine.
As TTD has been successfully implementing public darshans since June 11, the Shirdi Board has sought TTD's guidance as they are planning to resume darshans soon. According to TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy, over 6 lakh pilgrims have attended darshan till date since June 11 and not even a single COVID-19 positive case has been reported so far.
The TTD chairman and EO laid down various safety measures taken by them while resuming darshan. These include the TTD staff wearing face masks, using sanitisers, maintaining social distancing of at least two meters, thermal screening, sanitizing the rooms, and queue lines at regular intervals, according to an India Today report. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateshwara on Tirumala Tirupati located in Andhra Pradesh.