Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that priests and employees working in the temples will be given the State government’s pay scales from November. The Dhoop Deep, Naivedyam program, which was being implemented in 1,805 temples, will be extended to another 3,000 temples in the State, the Chief Minister said. He also declared a Dharmika Parishad was formed to supervise and monitor temple-related issues,
The Chief Minister held a meeting with the Archakas, who came from all over the State at the Pragati Bhavan here on Friday. Addressing the priests on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “After Independence, atrocities took place on a large-scale on temples and the governments did not not give even a single acre to the temples. They have become indifferent to temple lands, which were being encroached upon by unscrupulous land sharks. This injustice was more in the Telangana region during the united Andhra Pradesh government.
“Our temples have not been treated as temples or our Pushkarams as Pushkarams. They have not treated our lives as lives. Nobody took any interest in the development of temples in the region. After Telangana State came into being, we have paid more attention on the temples’ development, problems faced by Archakas and welfare of Brahmin. We are taking one after another measure for development of temples. We are developing Yadadri, Vemulawada, Bhadradri and other major temples in a planned manner. In the past, 1,805 temples were given Rs 2,500 per month for Dhoop, Deep, Naivedyam. The Telangana government has increased it to Rs 6,000 pm. We will also give Rs 6,000 to another 3,000 temples in the State. With this, Dhoop, Deep Naivedyam scheme will be implemented in 4,805 temples across the State,” the Chief Minister explained.
“Though Archakas enjoy respect in the society, but in reality a majority of them were finding it difficult to eke out a living. Parents are not giving their daughters in marriage to those working as Archakas, and such is the pitiable condition. Archakas’ salaries are dependent on temple managements and they are at the mercy of others. Now there will be a drastic change in that situation from now. From now, Archakas and other temple employees numbering 5,625 will get their salaries on 1st of every month like any other government employee. Based on their position, they will get the government employees’ salaries. Pay scales will be implemented from November this year. When PRC Report was implemented to the State government employees, temple employees’ salaries will also be revised,” the CM assured amidst thunderous applause from the gathering.
“The situation of government bossing over the temples should go. This is the reason why we are forming Dharmika Parishad to take care of the temple administration and other issues thereby reducing the government’s role. The temple administration will be entrusted to the Dharmika Parishad. For the welfare of Brahmins we have launched Brahmin Welfare Parishad with Rs 100 crore fund. We are launching new programme under this Parishad. Bring it to the notice of the Parishad the problems faced by Archakas and Brahmins and get them solved,” the CM said.
“Temple lands have gone to the wrong persons. Now we have statistics to show that there are about 83,000 acres under the temples. The government will take special action to protect these lands. Archakas should concentrate more on the temple administration and other divine duties. Take care that no mistakes are committed. If you perform Archana well, The God will bless us. During the statehood agitation, you all have actively involved and performed poojas for the realization of a separate State. Whenever I visited a temple then you always blessed with Manovanchaya Phalasiddhirasttu, Telangana Praptirastu (May your desire gets fulfilled, Telangana be achieved). God has granted our wish. Your blessings became real. Now we got Telangana State. We are taking up several measures for development of temples, Archakas welfare and Brahmin welfare. We will expand the Dharmika Parishad. We will plan the Dharmika Parishad programmes in consultation with the Tridandi China Jeer Swamy ji, Srungeri Peethadhipathi and Kanchi Kama Koti Peetaadhipathis and take their advices and suggestions. After solving Archakas problems and taking other decisions, I felt as though I had eaten 15 Laddus”, the CM remarked albeit in a lighter vein.
Ministers A Indrakaran Reddy, T Harish Rao, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Tummala Nageswara Rao, Nayani Narasimha Reddy, MP Capt Laxmikantha Rao, Government’s Advisor K V Ramanachary, MLCs Puranam Satish, Karne Prabhakar, Srinivas Reddy, Endowments Commissioner Shivshankar, Joint Commissioner Krishnaveni and others were present. Copies of the GOs pertaining to the three decisions mentioned above were distributed among the Brahmin community leaders and Archakas. (NSS)