In a revolutionary move, the administration of Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati has decided to open the doors of its Vedic schools to Dalits.
Admission into the Vedic schools was so far restricted to Brahmins.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), the body that administers the Venkateswara temple, took a decision to this effect at its meeting recently.
"It was decided to give admission to the Scheduled Caste students at Sri Venkateswara Veda Pathasala. One lakh rupees will be deposited for each student," TTD officials said.
The amount will help them till they find employment. It was also decided to construct Sri Rama and Venkateswara temples in Dalit colonies at a cost of Rs five lakh.
"But they have to give 10 cents of land", the officials said.
Earlier, the TTD had decided to take the idols of the deities to Dalit colonies to enable the devotees offer prayers in their localities.
Christened 'Dalita Govindam', the programme was immensely popular as hundreds of devotees queued up to have a glimpse of the Lord and offer prayers, the officials added.