Siddhivinayak cash donations double
Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak has received twice the usual amount in anonymous donations in the week since demonetization. Its hundi was opened Wednesday to reveal cash donations of Rs 60 lakh, much of it in high denomination notes.The average weekly tally is Rs 35-40 lakh. The Maharashtra government has quested Siddhivinayak and other pro requested Siddhivinayak and other prominent shrines in the state to deposit cash offerings in banks on a daily rather than weekly basis so that the flow of new currency can be augmented. At many shrines, signs have been put up to discourage devotees from donating the invalid 500 and 1,000-rupee notes. Over the past few days, it is likely that most of the cash is in new bank notes.
Siddhivinayak usually counts its cash every Monday in the presence of bank staff, but now it has decided that its own employees will handle the exercise. Narendra Rane, chairman of Siddhivinayak temple trust, said, “we have recei ved 90 bank notes of 2,000 rupee denomination also. It shows devotees who have spent long hours in queue to exchange their money at banks and ATMs also want to offer the first note to Lord Ganesh. As for the outgoing currency , there are 1,060 notes of Rs 1,000 which total Rs 10.60 lakh. There is a flood of 3,340 notes of 500 rupees which comes to approximately Rs 17 lakh. The rest is small currency.”
He clarified that this count includes two extra days of the week. “We commonly count our cash every Monday but this week we could not do so owing to the Guru Nanak Jayanti bank holiday and then the Tuesday rush,” he said.
Hundi collection at the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD), considered the richest temple trust in India, stands at a little over Rs 20 crore since Rs1000 and Rs 500 notes were demonetised last week.”For the last few days we are receiving hundi income in the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 2. 5 crore daily ,” said Chandrasekhar Pillai, deputy executive officer, TTD.
The TTD has accepted Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 old notes till November 11 for buying tickets and prasadam. “But now the devotees have to make payments with new notes,” he added.
Shree Damodar Temple in Zambaulim in South Goa, which counts the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, among its devotees, also made an unscheduled opening of its donation box last week to recover and deposit old currency .
In Tamil Nadu, Palani temple, which is the richest, has not prevented pilgrims from donating demonetized currencies but has stopped accepting them for pooja.”We will come to know how many invalid notes are there in the hundis by next week when we will opening them. Being festival time, there was a huge rush last week. Normally , nearly 60 to 70% of the total collection is in the form of Rs 500 or Rs 1000,” Palani temple executive officer K Rajamanickam told TOI.
The big temples in Tamil Nadu get devotees from across the country besides Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Australia during the festival season, some of who make huge donations.
(Inputs from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa & Chennai)