While coronavirus has made places of worship inaccessible, you can attend prayers sitting at home.
Wondering how? The video on-demand arm of Shemaroo Entertainment, ShemarooMe, has launched a new service called Live Darshan which showcases live darshan from temples and shrines across the globe.
“We have so far tied up with 30-plus shrines and the number keeps adding every day,” said Hiren Gada, CEO, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited.
Through ShemarooMe, devotees can have access to live darshan across famous temples in India like Shani Shingnapur, Jhandewalan Temple in Delhi, Prati Shirdi in Pune, Ozar Ganpati, Icchapuran Balaji in Rajasthan, RanjanGaon, Isckon Temple in Girgaon Mumbai, Jivdani Temple in Mumbai and Shri Mansa Devi Shaktipith in Panchkula, among others.
Special aartis (prayers) from Shirdi Saibaba Temple and Ganga Ghat Varanasi is also being live streamed on the platform.
But how are they doing it? "We have been focusing on devotional content for a long time and this content differentiates us from other platforms. We have been covering Lal BaugchaRaja live for nearly 10 years and even Lord Jagannath’s Ratha Yatra we have covered it live."
"So, in many places of worship we had in place camera setups which is now helping us in getting live content. In other places, the shrines have good infrastructure and connectivity which is enabling us to stream content live,” explained Gada.
He also said that while people are not allowed to go to places of worships, in many temples pujaris (priests) are performing prayers (aartis) while adhering to the social distancing norms. And this how ShemarooMe is offering content for Live Darshan.
Live darshan is available for free on the platform.
While Gada said that it is too early to estimate the brand interest for Live Darshan, he still gave the example of devotional channels on TV for which advertisers have always shown strong interest.
According to experts, devotional channels offer a range of services like temple tourism, access to aartis, bhajans. Hence, brands that are looking for target marketing find more value in devotional channels.
He thinks same could be the case for 'Bhakti' content available on ShemarooMe and expects more interest for Live Darshan as he thinks attending prayers virtually will be the new normal.