Shirdi goes the scientific way

Science part, telescopes to be installed, foot energy to be harnessed

Shirdi goes the scientific way

The temple town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is undergoing a major transformation of sorts ahead of the centenary year of samadhi of Sai Baba, a saint whose devotees spreads across the five continents.

What is more interesting is that spirituality and science would go together and a host of first-of-its-kind of initiative in the world is being launched during the Shri Saibaba Samadhi centenary year that would be celebrated from 1 October 2017 to 18 October 2018, under the aegis of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST), Shirdi.

Some of the key initiatives were shared by SSST chairman Dr Suresh Haware and chief executive officer Rubal Agrawal on Thursday in Mumbai. "We are taking a lot of initiatives," said Agrawal, adding that the experience of devotees would be enhanced through modern technologies.

One of the unique things would be harnessing the foot energy. "Shirdi is visited by almost 50,000 persons per day for darshans. This walking energy would be converted into a power. We have tied up with a manufacturer and innovator on a built-operate-transfer basis. There were be energy pedals...when you walk, it would get pressed and then come back to its position. This would produce power...in the first pilot stage we would have 200 such pedals installed to generate power," said Dr Haware.

He said nearly Rs 3,000 crore of works would be initiated in Shirdi temple town. "While Rs 1,500 crore would come from temple trust, rest Rs 1,500 crore would come from the Central and state governments," he said, adding that the infrastructure would undergo a sea of changes as more than 4.5 crores to 5 crore devotees are expected to come during the celebrations year.

Another major project is the Sai Srushti, a Rs 100 crore project being established on 21 acres at Nimgaon Korhale. "At the centre of the project would be a huge idol of Shri Saibaba. Through the use of modern technology various incidents of Shri Saibaba's life will be brought alive through multimedia and special effects," Dr Haware said. The project would comprise of a Sai tarangan (planetarium), a wax museum that would have statues of 50 great saints and 50 great national leaders, a star gazing gallery with 25 modern telescopes and a science park.

Besides, a Sai virtual reality show is also being planned where visitors would be able to personally experience darshan of Shri Saibaba and observe some of the live episodes from Shri Sai Saccharit through this 25-minute holographic medium show.  In the first week of June, more than 1 lakh trees would be planted along the Shirdi-Nashik and Shirdi-Manmad roads. An art hall and a library have also been planned. From 1 August, free WiFi service would be introduced.

Another unique thing would be what would be known a pictorial Shirdi. Paintings and oil paintings of Saibaba, his life and different facets would be installed in several places of the town. Facewalls of important compounds and house walls would be painted. Like hair donation in Tirupati, devotees coming here would be urged to donate blood. The trust projects that at least 500 devotees would donate blood.
DH News Service

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