Free rations for priests, temple employees in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Suhrt Foundation, launched recently by Sachin Tantry, a Bengaluru-based public policy professional, has provided ration kits to about 100 archakas (priests) and others who work in religious establishments.
By spreading the word on how the lockdown has hit archakas, Tantry raised Rs 1.3 lakh in three days. Most donations came from friends and family.
Tantry said, “There are many people out there helping daily-wage labourers, auto drivers and others whose livelihoods have been snuffed out. archakas and others working in religious establishments have been ignored.”
After raising funds, Tantry launched Suhrt Foundation, a trust. Suhrt means to be of help to others without expecting anything in return. The 100 people were covered in two separate drives in Girinagar, Bengaluru Besides priests, flower vendors and other staff of establishments like Vidyapeeta, were given ration kits which comprised rice, lentils, puffed rice, oil, turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder. “We gave puffed rice keeping since priests fast on religious occasions and do not consume rice (Ekadashi),” Tantry said.
Suhrt Foundation will carry out their next drive on Thursday and it is also planning a vaccination drive for archakas in Bengaluru.
Tantry, who is also a B.Pac civic leader, said, “Many of these people earn Rs 3,000 a month even without the lockdown. It is hard to build savings with that. Workers such as those who cook, serve or clean temples are not paid much. They need help.”
G Mohana Upadhyaya, an archaka at Sri Vadiraja Vijaya Dharmika Mandira in Girinagar pointed out that the second lockdown has hit most priests hard.
“This is the time when many set dates for weddings and when naming ceremonies, threading ceremonies and house-warming ceremonies are held,” Upadhyaya said. “We survive for the rest of eight months on what we earn in these months.”
Upadhyaya’s elder brother too is a priest. “We are a family of six and with both of us being priests, we are not in a very good space right now. Suhrt Foundation’s initiative is timely and a great help to us and our community.”
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Sagar Biswas

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