Kumbh Mela 2013
The current Kumbh Mela started on 14 January 2013 at Allahabad.The day marked the second and the biggest Shahi Snan (royal bath) of this event, with 13 akharas taking to the Sangam. 10 Feb 2013 was the biggest bathing day at the ongoing Maha Kumbh Mela and probably the largest human gathering on a single day. Over 30 million devotees and ascetics took holy dip on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya. This is the day we chose for the GCP event.
The Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of humanity in the world. This Kumbh, 100 million pilgrims are expected to make their way to the river’s edge during the 55-day event, and they will create some 200 tons of garbage every day. Getting that trash out of the hundreds of camps and clearings where people sleep and eat during the pilgrimage is not just a sanitary and logistical necessity, it’s an opportunity. The central government will spend over $220 million on this year’s Kumbh Mela, but officials estimate that 15 to 20 times more will be generated in jobs and businesses supporting the event.
There is perhaps nowhere in the world where people strip down with such gusto as they do on the banks of the Ganges during the Kumbh Mela. On Feb. 10, some 30 million pilgrims converged on a narrow strip of riverfront in Allahabad, India, ditching their sweaters, pants, saris, skirts, T-shirts, scarves, sandals and whatever other garments stood in their way between this mortal coil and a little salvation. Some tiptoed gingerly into the murky water, plugging their noses as they went under; others ran in with a battle cry. But every pilgrim washed their sins away in the water on that holy day, when the stars and planets aligned for a fleeting moment to spill life-giving nectar from the heavens into the Mother Ganges.
Most of the year, “Kumbh City” is not an inhabited part of Allahabad. There is no pre-existing water or electricity supply there, or any system to get rid of human waste. But by the time the festival started this year in January, Kumbh City was a functioning metropolis with a population larger than most permanent cities in the world and many small countries too. The government erects vast tent encampments, some 40,000 toilets, hospitals, markets, emergency services, food stands, supply shops, offices and hundreds of temples. Making sure all of that stays clean is quite literally a matter of life and death. “Every minute is critical,” says Ramesh Srivastava, the additional director in charge of the mela’s health and sanitation. “If you say, ‘Now it’s O.K.,’ something will happen.”
The GCP event was set, as in the past, for the daylight hours, from 05:30 to 18:30 local time (00.00 - 13:00 UTC). The result is Chisquare 47141.497 on 46800 df, for p = 0.132 and Z = 1.116.
It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.