Bereft of devotees on Thursday

Bereft of devotees on Thursday

Instead workers and volunteers were busy cleaning Mantralaya Mutt premises

But this Thursday was different. Hundreds of Mutt workers and volunteers were busy  cleaning the premises.

The Mutt and the Brindavan were marooned in the swollen Tungabhadra as they are located close to the bank of the river. RSS workers from Hyderabad, volunteers from Puttige Mutt of Udupi and the employees of the Mutt are working overtime to make the premises clean and tidy. Raghavendra Kulkarni, who is heading the RSS team, said 30 more swayamsevaks are expected to come from Hyderabad. The RSS is assessing the damage and the relief materials required. Generally on Thursdays, the mutt dining hall would have at least 5,000 people taking the prasada. Now the store rooms of the Mutt, constructed from donations by the Infosys Foundation, stink  as food grains are rotting. The Mutt staff is busy disposing of the bags. So far, 100 truckloads of food grain have been removed. The Parimala Prasadam counters in the Mutt premises are empty.

Resembles dump yard

The Ranga Bhavan, an auditorium, constructed on the banks of Tungabhadra resembles a dump yard. Seer Suyateendra Swamiji’s car has turned turtle. It was parked in a shed next to the Mutt. Achyutha, who has been in the Mutt for last 30 years, said he had never witnessed such a scene on a Thursday, with  virtually no  devotees. 

The loss suffered by the Mutt alone is estimated at around Rs 30 crore. Suyameendra Acharya, who is also taking care of the Mutt, said the drainage and water supply systems were clogged. The Mutt administration had sought financial assistance from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments.

Money yet to come

The Acharya said, "The Karnataka chief minister has announced a contribution of Rs 10 crore for the Mutt." The Andhra Pradesh Government will be sending a team of engineers to assess the loss.

When asked if the Mutt could manage renovation works from its own sources, the Acharya said, "The Mutt's administration is done as per the Endowment Act. The Mutt has suffered a loss of property worth in terms of crores, we have no other way but to approach the Governments.”

The Acharya said the administration required at least one month to allow the devotees inside for prayers and begin offering food. And, at least six months were required to bring back normalcy.