Every year during July-August, pilgrims from all over Sri Lanka visit the land of Lord Muruga (Skanda) in Katharagama (Kadhirgamam) over a 16-day period encompassing the Esela Festival. Many people walk up to 400 km on foot in extreme weather conditions, as a spiritual exercise. Unfortunately, some pilgrims also develop illnesses due to the harsh environment. Since 2010, the SSIO of Sri Lanka has hosted a medical camp during the last seven days
of the festival to help the pilgrims. Trained volunteers attend to patients daily and send them to hospitals if needed. In 2018, more than 1,900 patients received medical attention at this week-long medical camp.
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