Puri: Although many people have a desire to donate for the daily Mahaprasad offerings to the Srimandir deities, absence of such a scheme to enable the devotees to do so has left them in a state of deprivation.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had launched Amrutamanohi Donation Yojana or Kothabhoga Donation Yojana in 1981 to provide an opportunity to devotees for making monetary contributions towards the daily offerings. A devotee could contribute Rs 20,000 once to the SJTA under the scheme. The temple administration would deposit the money in a bank and utilise the interest accrued from it for preparation of Kothabhoga, Srimandir sources said.
However, the SJTA made several amendments to the scheme in 1996 for making the initiative affordable to common man. As per the amendment, a devotee could contribute for the preparation of Gopalaballav Bhoga, Sakala Dhoopa, Madhyanha Dhoopa, Sandhya Dhoopa and Badasinghara offerings by depositing Rs 2,000, Rs 5,000, Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 4,000 respectively with the temple administration. Soon, the scheme earned immense popularity.
However, some of the influential servitors’ groups opposed the initiative. Buckling under pressure from servitors, the Law department had ordered the SJTA to discontinue the Amrutamanohi Donation Yojana in November 2013. The Law department had then made provisions for monetary grants to the SJTA to compensate the losses.
According to sources, the SJTA had received a whopping Rs 4 crore under the scheme till its discontinuation. The interest earned from the deposits is being utilised for preparation of Kothabhoga. The Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee has recently allowed the SJTA to invest part of the interest amount to provide free Mahaprasad to devotees.
However, devotees as well as social activists have urged the temple administration to reintroduce the Amrutamanohi Yojana and encourage people to be part of the initiative.
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