[WATCH] Woman devotee of foreign origin stranded in Vrindavan seeks help for return to Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Home is where heart is! A woman of foreign origin gave up all comforts to seek salvation through her service at a temple in Odisha. Now, she considers the ashram at the nondescript village her abode.

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown which has brought the world to a standstill and people are being advised to stay indoors to keep the viral infection at bay, the woman devotee, adorning tulsi beads and a cotton saree, appealed to Odisha government through a velfie to help her return to the state, which has become her home for now. She has been giving her services at Sri Radhamadhav Temple in Khantapada in Balasore district.

The woman in the velfie introduced herself as Leelavati. Although,  a foreigner, she has been serving in the temple managed by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission for around eight years now and as per her words, her registration in the ashram will vouch for it.

After Dola Purnima, Leelavati had travelled to Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh for pilgrimage.

Suddenly, the country was plagued by novel coronavirus and a nationwide lockdown was put to immediate effect in order to contain the infection. This left Leelavati stranded in the Uttar Pradesh town and she has been there for almost two months now.

“I came to Vrindavan for darshan of the holy deities and had planned to return back to my ashram in Balasore with some incense sticks, tilaks and Shastras for the mutt. But, the lockdown was declared overnight and I got stuck here,” Leelavati narrated in the velfie.

The vaishnavite woman apparently had attempted to book her return tickets to Odisha thrice-for March 23, April 1 and April 15 but due to the ongoing situation, they were all cancelled. She also talked about calling up the Odisha helpline numbers requesting to help her return home but she was asked to stay where she was until the lockdown was lifted.

Later, Leelavati came across some news about Odisha government taking back all its stranded natives from various other states and tried to reach out to the Balasore police and the district Nodal Officer but received no response from either.

After exhausting all possible options in sight, she recorded a velfie requesting for help.

“My ashram is my home and my fellow devotees are my family. I have been away from them from a long time now and I just want to return back to Sri Radhamadhav Mutt and resume my services there. So, I request you all to help me return home as soon as possible,” Leelavati said as she ended her velfie wishing ‘Hare Krishna’.

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