Monday, December 28, 2009

Lord Jagannath Getting Richer

Fund-starved temple places donation box in Bhubaneswar

Devotees of Lord Jagannath in Bhubaneswar have started contributing generously to the temple fund than ever before. The “donation box” of Jagannath Temple of Puri, also called “Jagannath Hundi” and placed in front of the state secretariat at Bhubaneswar, has received about Rs one crore in just one month.

“This is the highest ever collection since the Hundi was set up in 2007,” expressed Ashok Kumar Meena, chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple. A temple official, who monitors the counting of donations, said we collected about Rs 96, 61,045 in November. “Earlier we used to collect Rs one lakh or less on an average per month. But now it has hugely gone up. We received about Rs 1.70 lakh on the very first day.”

These donation boxes, set up in different places of the state, have now emerged as major sources of income for this 12th century shrine. The very idea of donation boxes was first initiated by the Jagannath Temple administration after it faced financial crisis. At that time, the temple was getting an annual allocation of Rs eight crore from the Orissa government. But that was not enough. Its expenditure runs into nearly Rs 20 crore every year. On an average, priests perform 108 rituals for Lord Jagannath every day and the temple itself pays for the various rituals. Unlike other temples, there is no entry fee. For centuries, donations have been the only source of income for Jagannath temple, but when it started drying up, the administration started looking for innovative ideas. In 1983, a Hundi in the temple premises was placed. Initial collection from this donation box was not encouraging; only Rs eight lakh came in 23 years. But now things have changed. Lakhs are raised every day. A senior priest of the temple told TSI, “We received a sum of Rs 32, 45153.00 from the Hundi in the temple on November, 11, 2009. This was the highest ever collection since the Hundi was established in 1983.” And the amount is increasing day by day. It is all Lord’s mercy.
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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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