Surge in offerings to deity rings in hi-tech cash mgmt system at Ram temple in Ayodhya - Hindustan Times
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Surge in offerings to deity rings in hi-tech cash mgmt system at Ram temple in Ayodhya

Feb 22, 2024 09:39 PM IST

Four automatic counting machines installed at the temple complex; cash is put into these machines and the machines sort notes of different denominations and pack them in bundles

AYODHYA On weekdays, the destination of a dozen bankers from State Bank of India (SBI) in Ayodhya is not their branch office but the outpost that has come up at the Ram temple complex. Every morning, these officials gather here to account for each rupee that comes into donation boxes as an offering to the deity and work in two shifts to perform the task.

Devotees arrive to offer prayers at Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, in Ayodhya on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Devotees arrive to offer prayers at Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, in Ayodhya on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Since the consecration ceremony on January 22, the Ram temple is seeing a surge in footfall of devotees and donations, bulk of which are coming online (details of which have not been made public). Temple trust authorities said apart from the online donations, cash offerings in small denomination currency notes are estimated at 4 crore since January 22 and the daily figure could be 13 to 14 lakh.

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As most of these donations are in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500, it is a mammoth exercise to account for the cash, including coins, said Ram temple trust office-bearers.

To address the issue, a hi-tech cash management system has been put in place at the Ram temple complex by the Ayodhya branch of State Bank of India, which operates the account of the Ram temple trust. The bank has installed four automatic counting machines at the temple complex. The cash is put into these machines and the machines sort notes of different denominations and pack them in bundles.

The temple trust expects a surge of footfall and donations during Ram Navami festival when about 50 lakh devotees will be present in Ayodhya.

“On an average, we receive cash donations of 13-14 lakh per day,” said Prakash Gupta, office in-charge of the Ram temple trust.

A dozen computerized counters have also been set up by the trust to issue receipts to donors while a dozen donation boxes of 20sq ft are kept at the temple premises. Soon, a big counting room will be constructed on the temple premises, said Gupta.

The work of valuation of gold/silver jewellery and precious materials received as gifts for Ram Lalla has been handed over to the mint Institution of Government of India. The team has reached Ayodhya and started its work, said Anil Mishra, member of the temple trust.

As per an MoU signed between SBI and the trust, the bank will take full responsibility of collection of donations, offerings, cheques, drafts and cash and depositing it in the bank, added Mishra.

The counting machines automatically segregate notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 denominations and pack them in bundles of 100 each. With this, the counting work is completed in less time, he said.

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