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Shirdi shrine gets its biggest ever donation

A Chennai-based industrialist has promised to donate Rs 100 crore to the Sai Baba temple trust in Shirdi, reports Satyajit Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2008 04:19 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times

A Chennai-based information technology industrialist has promised to donate Rs 100 crore to the Sai Baba temple trust in Shirdi.

Sources in the cash-rich temple trust said it was the biggest ever donation in its history.

KV Ramani, the CMD of Future Software, will be donating the money to the Shri Saibaba Sansthan for the construction of a Bhakta Niwas, a residential complex for devotees on January 10.

Ramani was not available for comment but the chairperson of the trust, Jayant Sasane, confirmed the donation. Sasane said negotiations between trustees and Ramani had been on for almost a year. The residential complex will come up on 14 acres of land owned by the trust.

Ramani, a great devotee of the Sai Baba, has asked the trust to reserve 10 per cent of the total number of rooms in the complex for poor devotees and give out 30 per cent at concession rates.

Sasane said 15,000 devotees could be accommodated in the facility. The foundation stone will be laid on January 10. Construction is expected to be complete within a year and a half.

Ramani set up the Shirdi Sai Trust with Rs 250 crore that he had in his kitty. His trust has been spending Rs 20 crore every year for social causes and for construction of Sai Baba temples at various places.

Sources in Shri Saibaba Sansthan said Ramani believes he owes his wealth to Sai Baba and he has to donate it to him. The sansthan, controlled by the Maharashtra government, has an annual turnover of around Rs 200 crore.