Saketri Shiv temple fixed the problem of milk being wasted during the Shivratri celebrations under a new arrangement where the devotees who bring packed milk pouches hand them over to volunteers of the temple committee. This milk is then distributed among the devotees.
"The milk shouldn't go down the drain. People usually do not bring milk in containers but in pouches. We collect these and distribute after heating the milk. Those who want to offer a mixture of milk and water can fill their containers from the four big tubs that we have kept," Rakesh Sanger, general secretary of the temple committee, told HT. He added, though, that there wasn't any such binding rule, so, if anyone pushed for offering milk directly on the Shivling, he could.
"We have made arrangements of 170 quintals of milk at the rate of Rs 38.35 per kg for offering. The money comes out to be Rs 6.5 lakh. About the same quantity of milk is donated by the devotees. That means we have around 350 quintals. Apart from the hot milk, 60,000 bananas and 60 quintals of plum have been arranged for devotees," informed Sanger.
The temple was decorated with lights and as many as 650 volunteers and private security guards, including those from Mata Mansa Devi Sewa Samiti, Tri Shakti Sewa Dal and All India Sewak Dal.
On the way to the temple, about 300 street vendors had put up their shops. Though there was prohibition on serving the intoxicant bhang, it was available at a number of makeshift shops at Rs 25-30 per glass. Snacks laced with bhang were also available.
Celebrating God's union
350 quintals of milk, half arranged by temple mgmt, rest offered by devotees
60 quintals of plum and 60,000 bananas served by management