Board not consulted on the move, says Chairman
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams on Monday withdrew the proposal of providing ‘Sampradaya Bhojanam’ (traditional food) to pilgrims at Tirumala.
TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy told the media that though the decision to provide traditional food using organic ingredients was taken with a good intention by officials, it unfortunately was wrongly carried into the public. The board was not a party to the decision as it was taken by the officials after the expiry of the term of the previous board of trustees, he clarified.
The TTD chairman announced the immediate withdrawal of the initiative following reports on the social media that the TTD was planning to collect charges on the food which hitherto was provided free of cost to pilgrims. Taking exception to such reports, Mr. Subba Reddy said, “Anything provided to devotees at Tirumala should be in the form of prasadam and hence imposition of charges of any kind does not arise at all.”
With an intention to promote the use of organic food substances among public, the TTD had recently conceived the idea of providing millets-based traditional food to pilgrims on a cost-to-cost basis. It was said that the concept would be introduced on a trial basis only at one of its canteens here.
Asked about the revival of sarva darshanam at the hill temple, he said that he had instructed the officials the day he took oath as the Chairman for the second time to explore the possibility.
“Of late, there is a hike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Though the TTD is determined to allow common pilgrims for darshan, it mainly depends on the assurances by the district and health authorities. The possibility of allowing at least a limited number of pilgrims is being looked into,” he said.
Mr. Subba Reddy expressed happiness at the introduction of Navaneetha Seva at the temple on Sri Krishna Janmashtami.
‘Nitya Annaprasadam will continue’
After participating in the Gokulashtami celebrations at SV Gosamrakshanasala at Tirupati, Mr. Subba Reddy said ‘Nitya Annaprasadam’ for devotees will continue at Tirumala and called it an ‘ever lasting seva’. He warned the perpetrators of the misinformation campaign that they would face legal action soon.
Mr. Subba Reddy said all efforts were being made to gather butter from ‘desi’ cows and also cow-based organic products for the Navaneetha Seva and also the ‘Srivari Organic Naivedya Prasadam’ that commenced on May 1.
Meanwhile, Executive Officer K.S. Jawahar Reddy inspected the ‘agarbathi’ making unit at the goshala. The agarbathis here are made with the floral garlands used in temples.
He said the incense sticks produced from ‘used flowers’ would be made available to devotees in the form of 10 brands, uniquely processed to have distinct fragrances.
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