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Jagannath temple servitors asked not to take donations from devotees

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

The Shree Temple Administration (SJTA) of today asked the servitors of the 12th-century shrine not to receive any offerings or donations from the devotees.

Taking a serious note of the alleged exploitation of the devotees by the "sevaks" (servitors) at the temple, the had yesterday issued a slew of directions to prevent any such malpractices and mismanagement.

In a notification, the temple administration also requested the devotees to make their offerings or donations either in the "Hundi" (donation box) or at the temple head office, branch offices and temple information centres and take a receipt, instead of handing those over to the servitors.

Copies of the signed notification have been pasted at several places in the temple.

"The direction is law. Everybody should abide by the apex court's direction. We request everyone to go by the direction," SJTA chief P K Jena told reporters here.

said, "The will examine the directions of the We will abide by the rulings."

However, a section of the servitors is contemplating to request the apex court to reconsider its direction as a large number of them survive on the donations given by the devotees.

"A number of servitors' families eke out their living from the earnings of the temple. If the devotees do not give any donation, they may face difficulties. We are opposed to servitors demanding a certain amount of money from the devotees, but what should be done if someone donates money on his own?" asked senior servitor Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra.

The Supreme Court had yesterday said it was of prime importance that all devotees had a hassle-free visit to the temple and the offerings made by them were not misused.

It has directed the to study the management schemes of other important shrines such as the one of Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir, the in Gujarat, the in Punjab, the in and the in

A vacation bench of justices and Ashok Bhushan, which passed several directions, said proper management of the pilgrimage centres in a country of great importance was a matter of public interest.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 21:35 IST