TTD offers training to tribal priests

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Tirupati, June 3 (UNI) In a move aimed at reaching out to the downtrodden sections of the Hindu society, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is conducting training sessions on temple rituals to the Girijana goravallus (tribal priests), TTD chairman B Karunakara Reddy said.

Inaugurating the training programme for 50 Girijans of East Godavari district at Sri Venkateswara Employees Training Academy (SVETA) here yesterday, he noted that six crore Hindus had embraced alien faiths post-independence, which was more alarming than the scenario during the 1,000 years of Muslim rule and 300 years of British rule.

To bring those who had converted to other religions back to Hindu society, the TTD had taken upon itself with renewed vigour the ''social obligation'' by training tribals in priesthood, he said.

Mr Reddy cautioned that any delay in overcoming these defects would dent the image of the Hindu community and cause irreparable damage to the society.

SVETA Director Bhuman said as many as 300 tribal priests have been identified for the training in phases.

Tanuku Venkataramaiah, the head priest for tribals in East Godavari tribal belt, asked the TTD authorities to provide archaka training to the tribal women, who were presently performing traditional rituals in the Girijan hamlets to the Devudamma.

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