By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 19: The demonetization has touched all, including places of worship where cash flow has been slowed down drastically. In an attempt to prevent corrupt people from doting their ill-gotten money to temples and devalayas, the dotion boxes have been removed in some of them. Such donors are also under the strict vigil of many temple committees.
For instance, the dotion box of Kamakhya Devalaya has been removed so as to prevent people from doting black money. Priests and pandas in such devalayas do not accept demonetized notes of 500 and 1000-rupee denomitions. They take extra care to get rid of such dotions and honoraria.
Take the case of Shukreshwar Temple in the city. According to Devalaya secretary Bhupesh Sarma, the flow of visitors has come down to an extent, so is dotion. “We’re keeping strict vigil on the dotion box so as not to allow anyone drop the demonetized notes,” he said, and added: “We had to stop the construction work in the devalaya due to the current cash crunch that doesn’t allow us to draw big amounts.”
According to Shukreshwar Temple priest Dinesh Sarma, the situation has come to such a pass that the priests have to make fervent appeals to the regular devotees visiting devalayas to make generous dotions as the cash flow has come down drastically in the aftermath of the demonetization. “Our only source of income is the honorarium we get after performing worships. However, after the demonetization the number of such visitors has come down drastically, so is our income,” he said.
The situation at Bashistha temple in the city is no different. “Though the dotion is open, we’re keeping strict vigil on it,” Doloi Girindra Mohan Sarma said, and added: “The demonetization has its impact on the temple as well. We refuse to accept the demonetized currency notes. We’ve stopped all developmental works in the temple due to lack of hard cash.”
Sadou Asom Devalaya Sangha secretary Suresh Bhattacharya said: “We’ve heard in the news that many temples got black money elsewhere in the country. However, we don’t think such incidents will happen anywhere in Assam. We get a meagre annuity from the government. After every two years we get Rs 500 for the maintence of a devalaya. It is next to impossible to maintain a temple with such a meagre amount. We’re yet to receive any missive from any quarters on the possibility of getting black money.”