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Gosainkunda, situated at an altitude of 4380 meter from the sea level is not only a natural beautiful place, but also a very important religious place for Pilgrims.With the same religious thoughts and values, every year during Janai Purnima festival, thousands of pilgrims visit Gosainkunda to take a holy deep in to the lake.
With the strong religious belief, pilgrims go up to Gosainkunda to high to fast so that they may get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). While going up, pilgrims may feel the symptom of AMS such as , headache, tiredness, lack of appetite, dizzy, lack of sleep, vomiting, shortness of breath at rest etc. Pilgrims are not aware of the symptoms of AMS so that when they experience such symptoms, they may believe that they could see the image of God Shiva at the middle of the lake. If they get sick they feel themselves as they have committed a great sin so they are not able to visit Gosainkunda. With this superstitious belief, they try harder their attempt to visit Gosainkundsa at any cost. Most of the Pilgrims are unaware about the symptoms of AMS and their health condition. They ignore the symptoms of AMS and climb up and up, which may led to death. Some young people climb up in a feeling of competition. Due to this unawareness many people climb up to quickly so that they get sick and some of them get severely sick.
Keeping all these considerations in mind, the Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal, every year sets up a temporary medical camp at Gosainkunda during Janai Purnima with the help of doctors and medical professional & has been helping Nepalese pilgrims continiously for the last 9 years. Last year HRA medical team provided medical facility over 200 sick patients and among them, 5 were seriously ill. They were rescued down to the low altitude.
In this year too, there is a 9 member medical team of doctors, medical professionals and HRA officials has set up a medical camp at Gosainkunda. Eventhough there is less number of pilgrims this year in comparision with the last year, till today on 29th August 2004, at 5 pm. they have treated over 125 sick pilgrims. This news received by a satellite phone call from Gosainkunda. The team will continue the medical camp till the afternoon of 30th August 2004, the festival day.
The Association is planning to distribute brochures for the pilgrims so that they can be fully aware about the problems at high altitude.