Faith factor: 16% spike in donations at Golden Temple’s sanctum sanctorum
SGPC officials attribute this increase to the rise in footfall at the golden Temple in recent years.Updated: Jan 08, 2018 18:10 IST
Donations given by devotees at the Golden Temple sanctum sanctorum witnessed a rise of nearly 16% in the last five years. This has been revealed in the data accessed by Hindustan Times from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
According to the data, in 2012-13, the Golden Temple received a donation of Rs 67 crore. This increased to Rs 69 crore in 2013-14; Rs 73 crore in 2014-15; Rs 74 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 75 in 2016-17. The SGPC has estimated that the donation in the current financial year (2017-18) will be approximately Rs 78 crore.
SGPC officials attribute this increase to the rise in footfall at the golden Temple in recent years. Roop Singh, chief secretary, SGPC, said “The footfall has increased ever since the live telecast of gurbani kirtan was started from Sri Darbar Sahib.”
In 2016, the Golden Temple Complex was beautified when a heritage street was constructed between Town Hall and the entrance to the Golden Temple.
Officials say this has been instrumental in attracting more people. Meanwhile, there is no record of the number of people who visit the golden temple everyday. However, SGPC officials said even though the donations made at the sanctum sanctorum point towards an increase in the footfall, it doesn’t reflect the exact figure.
“Many devotees don’t visit the sanctum sanctorum because owing to the long queues they have to wait for hours. In many cases the devotees only pay obeisance at the Akal Takht Sahib or other gurdwaras inside the Golden Temple complex,” said Sulakhan Singh, manager of the shrine.
He added that the exact number of devotees visiting the Golden Temple is “higher”. Lakhbir Singh, in-charge of langar (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple said the rush is higher during vacations. “Normally, 1,900 quintal wheat flour is used in the langar every month.
However, in June this year, around 2,500 quintal flour was used. June is a month that coincides with summer vacation.” Similarly, on an average, 70 quintal flour is consumed in the langar everyday. But on December 31, 2017, the consumption was 130 quintal, while on January 1 it was 124 quintal,” he said.