Sai trust pulls up socks to show 'clean' image

Just two days after the Andhra Pradesh government sought a detailed report on the functioning of the trust, including the financials, trustee and nephew of Sai Baba, trustee R J Ratnakar on Wednesday said: “Our legal status as an autonomous body will not prevent us from taking our service to the people in a transparent way.”

Speaking to Deccan Herald from Puttparthi, he said that the trust –– in line with Sai Baba’s vision –– is a people’s trust and “We will do everything to be completely transparent in what we are doing. The people need to know what we do.”

The trust, which was barely accessible to people until very recently has, after its “emergency meeting” on Monday appointed a media co-ordinator. “This is so that there is enough communication to the people through the media,” another Trustee V Srinivasan had said.

Professor Anantharaman, the media co-ordinator’s job would include providing periodic reports on the trust’s activities to the media, besides representing the trust.

Ratnakar, while maintaining that the trust is clean and there is no truth in any of the allegations made in the recent past, however, said: “We will make the process of our checks and balances more transparent.”

Commenting on why the trust was not as reciprocative to the demands of the devotees until the government decided to intervene, he replied: “Our system is built on checks and balances which have little scope for manipulation. There was no need for any of this. But it is unfortunate that we are being branded as ‘cheats’, thereby, we are left with no choice but to tell people how we work.”

When asked about the government’s intervention, he said: “The trust will provide full cooperation to the government. They have sought a detailed report on our functioning over the last five years, we will see that it is provided to them.”

It is noteworthy that Srinivasan had, on Tuesday maintained that the trust is yet to get the official communication from the government.

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