Muzrai temple priests to get house: Minister

25 temples will be developed to attract tourists

 Minister for Muzrai, Ports and Inland Water Transport Kota Srinivas Poojary has said that the religious endowment department will release a sum of Rs five lakh each for the construction of house for the temple priests. In Dakshina Kannada, as many as 14 temple priests will get a house.

Speaking at a one-day workshop for priests, members  of temples, Garodis and Bhajan mandira organised by the Religious Endowment Department in association with Jilla Dharmika Parishat here on Saturday, he said that a committee has been constituted to look into the revision of wages for the archakas.

Identity card will be issued to the temple priests who come under the department of Religious Endowment. The employee of the  Muzrai temple will get wages as per the sixth pay commission.

The department is planning to spread message of harikatha, Bhagavadgeetha, Ramayana, Mahabharath among children through temples during summer holidays.

The Minister said that as many as 25 temples in Karnataka will be developed  to attract tourists. A sum of Rs 1 crore each will be released for the development of such temples where a children’s park would be established, tourist guides will be appointed and information cells will be set up.

Basic facilities will also be developed. Summer camps will be introduced on studying religious texts, he indicated.

The department will enter into a tie up with the KSRTC to introduce bus services to such temples.

He said “the government is mulling over the setting up of an ashram for the mentally retarded children at Dattatreya temple in Ganagapura in Gulbarga. We are also planning to set up destitute homes at Kollur and Kukke Subrahmanya temples.

A home for aged will be set up at Malemahadeshwara Betta. Gau Samrakshane Kendra will be set up in 25 temples in the State. Gau shaale will be opened in 10 acre land near to the temples,” he added.

He said there is a need to improve facilities in the temples. The condition of temple priests in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts are different from that of their counterparts in Yadgiri, Bijapura and Gulbarga.

There is a need to chalk out programmes to improve the condition of priests.
Stating that there are 34,266 temples coming under Endowment department, Poojary said that only 125 temples come under A category, whose annual income is above 25 lakh. “We need to improve infrastructure facilities in over 33,900 temples which come under C category.”

Temple priests have the capacity to work towards the welfare of the temples. He acts as a bridge between God and devotees. Temples should help in building a healthy society, he added.

Sri Rama Vidya Kendra convener Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat said that the concept of ‘dharma’ has changed in the recent years. Dharma is nothing but a way of life. However, dharma has been equated to religion recently. Dharma do not have boundary of caste or religion.

“Whether archakas have been performing their duty for the sake of livelihood or for the welfare of the society,”he asked. The priests should guide the person who is in distress.
Assembly Deputy Speaker Yogish Bhat, MLC Monappa Bhandary, NRI Cell Deputy Chairman Capt Ganesh Karnik and others were present.

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