Housewife creates history

Ahmedgar (Maharashtra), Jan 11: A history of sorts was created when Anita Shetye, a housewife, was unimously appointed the first ever woman chairperson of the famous Shani Shingpur Temple Trust, an official said on Monday. However, the age-old tradition of not allowing women devotees to worship at the temple dedicated to Lord Shani - the personification of planet Saturn - will continue, temple trustee Prafull N. Surpuriya said. “This is the first time in the temple’s history of more than five centuries that this welcome development has taken place. Another woman, Shalini Lande, has also been appointed to the board of 11 trustees maging the temple, at its statutory meeting last week,” he told IANS. Shetye, 40, will have a five-year term along with other 11 trustees. As mandated, all the trustees are residents of Shingpur village in Ahmedgar district and born within the Shingpur gram panchayat area, which has a population of around 1,500. “It is an ancient tradition that women are barred from climbing up the temple steps to pour oil and offer prayers to Shanidev... there’s no reason for us to change the traditions,” Surpuriya added. (IANS)

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