More than one million people gather on the streets of Puri during the world famous Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath. To this day, fatalities still occur due to the sheer volume of crowds and inadequate measures for crowd control.
Since 1995, Prajnana Mission has provided various voluntary services during the peak of the festival period. A Health Camp staffed by a medical team and volunteers together with the HCHC ambulance is on site to carry seriously ill or injured persons to the local hospital. The medical team also provides free first-aid, medical advice, medicine and health education to the public.
Temperatures during the festival can be anything from 35 degrees upwards. Volunteers, organised by Prajnana Mission, distribute free water and sprinkle water on people to prevent sunstroke and generally help to maintain peace and order. The cost of the operation is US$1,000 [Rs 45,000] per annum.