Amid the standoff between the state government and protestors at hill temple Sabarimala in Kerala over women entry, the cash-strapped temple board has devised a new way to fill its coffers. It has installed swiping machines (POS) at the shrine. Now devotees who don’t have hard cash can swipe and donate money to the temple account directly.
The South Indian Bank, official banker of the temple, has installed swiping machines and Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) which runs the temple is making special announcements to make use of “digital kanikka” (offering). Once swiped, money will go to the ‘kanikka’ account directly.
“It is the digital age and it will help devotees. I feel swiping in the name of presiding deity will give more satisfaction to the pilgrims,” said TDB president A Padmakumar. The board has also put up boards and makes regular announcements to use this facility.
“We have installed five POS (point of sale) machines at the hilltop and getting good response from pilgrims. Depositors get a receipt instantly and that make them happy. This facility is only available at the hilltop,” said a senior official of the bank adding it is nothing to do with the present crisis born out of the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to worship at the shrine.
What really irked them is the position of the TDB which toed the state government decision to implement the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court which allowed woman all ages to worship at the temple.
When ‘hundis’ (donation boxes) were opened last week, temple authorities were shocked. They got more white papers written ‘Save Sabarimala’ slogan than currency. Worried TDB is also planning an ad blitz in neighboring states saying pilgrimage to Sabarimala is safe.