Various temples in Tamil Nadu have requested waiving off electricity bills citing revenue loss due to coronavirus lockdown that was implemented two months ago. It is also claimed that priests and employees are not getting any salary during this period.
There are more than 8,000 such temples in the state where worship is being conducted on a daily basis but once in a day. Hence the temples are not being able to meet up the expenses. So the temples have appealed to the state government to waive off the electricity bills.
Temples are a source of livelihood for many
Tamil Nadu temple Priest Association has stated that temples are not only are places of worship but also a source of employment and livelihood for many including those who sell flowers at the doorstep of temples.
President of State unit P Vasu said, “Not only the priests and employees of temples but also the flower sellers or pooja thali vendors who depend on temples for their livelihood are facing the worst situation due to lockdown.”
Temples are closed since 24 March
The temples are closed since 24 March. During this time no one is allowed to enter the temple premises, only the priest is performing the daily worship. Other activities are also banned in the temples.
The Tamil Nadu Rural Temple Priest association has appealed to the government to increase the amount for meant for relief for the temple employees. Also, the association has sought relaxation for the electricity bills of the low-income temples.
Priests are being given relief amount
The local body has requested that the rural temple priests welfare board alone has more than 65000 members whose COVID-19 relief amount should be increased.
Vasu said that the priests of the village have been provided relief of only 1,000 from the government. However, it should be noted that this amount is not distributed equally.