Are Odias Poor Donors? The question is natural when Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri received only Rs 11,46,650 on the New Year’s Day.
This apart, the Temple Hundi also received only 2 gram 240 milligram of gold and 11 gram 500 mg of silver from devotes offering prayers to the Trinity on the auspicious first day of the English calendar day.
The amount of donation to the 12th century shrine is said to be poor because more than six lakh people visited the temple with hope to get the Lord Jagannath’s blessings on the first date of 2020.
The Puri District Administration has said lakhs of devotes thronged the temple for which elaborate security arrangement were done on the occasion.
If the footfall in the temple will be six lakh, then each devotee paid only Rs 1.91 to the temple while the cost of a small diya is Rs 5 and Rs 10 for a cigarette.
No doubt, the people are spending lot of money through travelling, eating outside in better hotels and shopping as well as roaming in sea beach. However, when it comes to making donation to the temple, they appeared to be reluctant.
The devotees are also spending a large number of money on pujas and giving “dakshina” to the priests, but not to the Lord!
Had each devotee donated Rs 10 only to the temple, the amount would have been Rs 60 lakh. But, that is not happening in Odisha.
It is said that Lord Jagannath has 13 major festivals in 12 months a year, now another has been added to the temple calendar. This is because lakhs throng on the New Years’ Day.
The socio-economic conditions of the people of Odisha have so far changed which is evident from their congregation at the temple.
But, they continue to uphold the poor mindset of not making donations to the people, a senior official said.
As Lord Jagannath is considered as the “Patitapaban”, means the Lord who give salvation to poor, dalit and downtrodden, many devotees also carry the impression that there is no harm to avoid donating anything to the temple.
It is greatness of the Lord of the Universe that He gives “mokshya” to all. That does not mean that the devotees will not make donation.
While other major temples across the country earn good amount in the donation box, the Lord Jagannth temple continue to remain poor in terms of finance.
Therefore, the experts say the people of Odisha should make a pledge that they should donate something to the Lord while visiting the temple.
A large number of tourists from outside Odisha are also included in the about 6 lakh devotees who visited the temple. The number of outside visited may be one lakh while the number of Odias may be about 5 lakh.
Apart from the temple, the visitors go to Konark Sun temple and go to Chandrabhaga beach also to witness the first sunrise of 2020.