The TDB took this decision to ensure ‘equal opportunities’ for all devotees.

Travancore Devaswom to stop special darshan for donators of Annadanam at SabarimalaImage Courtesy: Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
news News Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 09:42

The newly-constituted Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has decided to do away with the ‘special darshan’ facility for those who donate Rs 1,000 and above towards ‘Annadanam’ fund at Sabarimala temple.

This has been done to ensure ‘equal opportunities’ for all devotees.

The facility was introduced by the previous board to mobilise funds for ‘Annadanam’ and the newly constituted board decided to remove the facility in view of the displeasure expressed by devotees.

The newly-appointed president A Padmakumar said, “We’ve done away with the system put in place by the previous board administration to those who offer donations. However, those who already got donation receipts will be allowed to have special darshan. Since the state government, TDB and the police are against the VIP culture, the ‘darshan for money’ practice will be stopped”, reports Deccan Chronicle.

The revenue generated from funds mobilised through Annadanam has shot up from Rs 5 lakh last year to Rs 30 lakh this year, the report says.

The decision also comes in the wake of a campaign that TDB was facing a severe financial crisis. The board which led a preliminary enquiry into the matter came out  saying that it was a false claim.

Reacting to the campaign, A, Padmakumar said, “There will be a detailed inquiry into many other allegations and issues including those regarding the Annadanam fund”, reports TOI.

He also added that there has been an overall increase of over Rs 7 crore in the revenue on the 6th day of the current pilgrim season. While last year, the total revenue generated was around Rs 16.45 crore on the 6th day of the season, the amount has spiked to Rs23.76 crore this year, reports The New Indian Express.

The newly constituted board has also decided to form a vigilance squad under the board president’s direct supervision for better administration.

There will be a new vigilance wing for initiating quick verifications. The board will also take quick actions to appoint dependents of employees who died in harness and roll out employees’ insurance scheme. 

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