Thousand of devotees go cashless, by swiping close to 10-15 lakh plastic money every day.   

We knew it earlier that the cash crunch has not affected the revenue collection at Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala. The three-month long Mandala-Makaravilaku festival season is still on, with thousands of pilgrims flocking at the pilgrimage site. So far, there continues to be a huge amount collection; till January 04, a total of Rs 18.32 crore income has been recorded.

“Total earnings in the festival period last year was Rs 17.82 crore and revenue collection so far recorded an increase of about Rs 50 lakh,” Prayar Gopalakrishnan, President of Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the shrine, told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram recently.

Perhaps; this is one pilgrimage destination where transparency ruled the roost. A latest media report confirms that-digital payments took centre stage at Sabarimala, this festival season.

Digital payment accounted for nearly 15% of the daily revenue that accrues from sale of prasadam, puja and offerings, confirms a report in Financial Express. It is reported that close to 10-15 lakh are being swiped every day (between November-January).   

Digital transactions were facilitated by the efficient management of Dhanlaxmi Bank. The bank installed fifteen swipe machines, to relieve the visiting pilgrims of any inconvenience.

In addition, devotees also have a provision to make their donations, in the ‘e-hundi’. Debit and credit card payments are accepted in the e-hundi. However, it is the prasadam which is more popular with the devotees. There is also easy access to ATM at the site. It is further reported that the temple has received very less old currency notes.

In another report by TOI, five temples, including Nagercoil’s Nagaraja Temple, Mondaikadu Bhagavathi Amman Temple and Kumaraswamy Temple in Velimalai, have partnered HDFC Bank for e-donations, e-hundis and e-offerings.

In order to make this possible at ground level, the temple staff has been trained on QR and PoS technology. The training and the complete infrastructure, for digital transactions, has now been installed. The temple staff is also trained to handle any transaction failure.

Seems, good work starts at God’s abode only.


Pooja Bhatia

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