Shirdi Saibaba temple witnesses huge spurt in donations
Shirdi, Jul 3: The famous Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust has witnessed a steady rise in its fortunes in the form of donations from devotees over the last few years, a senior official of the organisation said today.
The SSST has received Rs 22,84,00,000 through donations, either in 'hoondis' (cash boxes) or online in the past three (financial) years from 2012-13 to 2014-15, SSST's Executive Officer (EO) Rajendra Jadhav said.
Devotees from various countries have donated a total of Rs 17,87,53,465 in the hoondis in the said financial years while they donated Rs 4,96,93,109 online in that period, he said.
The SSST received foreign currency worth Rs 5,73,46,127 in its cash boxes in financial year 2012-13 while in 2013-14, it received Rs 6,02,56,661 and in 2014-15, it received Rs 6,11,50,677, indicating growth in the donation from abroad.
As far as online donations are concerned, in 2012-13, devotees donated Rs 97,40,751 while the figure increased to Rs 1,53,10,114 in 2013-14 and further rose to Rs 2,46,42,244 in 2014-15, Jadhav said.
In past three years, SSST received donations from 94 countries in its hoondis, which include USD worth Rs 10,54,00,000, followed by British Pounds of Rs 1,60,00,000 value, UAE Dirham worth Rs 1,01,00,000, Canadian Dollar valuing at Rs 99 lakh, Australian Dollar worth Rs 68 lakh, Malaysian Ringgit worth Rs 66 lakh, Euro valuing at Rs 54 lakh and Singapore Dollar of Rs 51 lakh value, he said.
Besides these foreign currencies, donations from 84 countries like Japan, China, Bangladesh, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico were received by the Trust, he said.
The Trust has Rs 1,413 crore as fixed deposit in different nationalised banks, and as per today's market rates, also possesses 376 kg gold worth Rs 100 crore, silver valued at Rs 14 crore and diamonds worth Rs 7 crore.
Apart from Indian and foreign nationals, Non Resident Indians (NRIs) from various countries also throng the famous Shirdi shrine every year.
The SSST is currently running two hospitals and a number of schools, carrying out 'Annadaan' (food donation) besides providing residential arrangement at reasonable rates for devotees, giving free 'ladoos' and free 'prasad', and providing 'bhojan' (food) at cheap rates.