The Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest mass gathering, where tens of millions congregate at one of four holy sites in India during a several week-long festival. The government builds an ephemeral city — replete with roads, sanitation, and power — in which religious groups and small business provide food, shelter, sermons, and entertainment for the visiting pilgrims. In 2013, Harvard University sent a multi-disciplinary research team of faculty and students with backgrounds in theology, urban planning, public health, and business to study the world’s largest mass gathering.

Crisis Response Projects and Initiatives Data-Driven Crisis Management Kumbh Mela Digital Health India

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