Sai Baba devotees converge on Puttaparthi, pray for recovery



Puttaparthi (AP): Followers and admirers from various corners of the country and scores from abroad have converged on this little town ever since godman Sathya Sai Baba's health severed a setback.

With hopes that he will recover as he did in the past, the devotees are praying that the 85-year-old Baba gets well soon to bless them.

"I am confident that all these will be over and Baba will give darshan soon," Sanjeev Singh, a devotee from Uttar Pradesh said.

"We are all confident that Baba would give us darshan very soon. It is only outsiders who were worried. We are not," said Bittoo Thapa, a devotee from Darjeeling in West Bengal.

Along with the Indian devotees, scores of foreigners who throng Puttaparthi have also expressed confidence that the 85-year-old Baba would recover speedily and bless the disciples.

"Baba is god. This is only temporary," Mirek, a devotee from Poland, said.

His compatriot echoed similar feelings.

Doctors attending on the Baba said he continues to be on ventilator support though his vital systems are in a stable condition.

"However, his level of consciousness has considerably improved. His vital systems are in stable condition. He still continues to be on assisted ventilation through ventilator and CRRT, which is a slow dialysis process," a health bulletin issued by Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences said.

The hospital, where the Baba was admitted to the hospital on March 28 following chest and lungs congestion, has been declared as a sterile zone.

Meanwhile, police have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code in Putaparthi and restricted the movement of public transport vehicles like autos and buses. Shops have downed their shutters at various places in this town.

Police did not allow assembly of people at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.

Movement of people and devotees was thin in view of the restrictions.

The prohibitory orders were imposed as some anxious crowds allegedly tried to attack the vehicles of district officials yesterday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed Baba's health, cancelled his proposed visit to Puttaparthi to avoid any inconvenience.

PTI