The Mahaveer family.
The Mahaveer family.

Ayodhya: A Dalit family is the first to get the prasad sent by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath after the 'bhumi pujan' of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, an official said.

The prasad included laddoos, a copy of the Ramcharitmanas and tulsi mala, Chief Minister's Media Advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi told PTI.

He said the first prasad was sent to the Mahaveer's family in Ayodhya. Mahaveer, a masion who lives at the Suthati locality of Ayodhya, was visited by Adityanath during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Reacting to it, Mahaveer said, "I am a Dalit. The CM sent first prasad to me and my family. I am thankful to him that he remembered me." "It's a double delight for us. Firstly, our dream of a Ram temple has been fulfilled. Secondly, we got the first prasad.”

We hope that now the caste discrimination in the state will end and everyone will think of development and welfare of all," he said.

When contacted, a senior Ayodhya official said due to the COVID-19 protocol, very few people were invited for the 'bhumi pujan'.

"Now, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust and the administration are distributing 'prasad' among the maximum number of people. In Ayodhya, the first 'prasad' was sent to the Mahaveer's family on the directions of the chief minister," the official said.

He said all those invited to the groundbreaking ceremony were given a silver coin having pictures of the Ram Darbar and the trust's logo.

Trust gets Rs 41cr in donations

Ayodhya: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has, so far, received donations to the tune of Rs 41 crore even before the construction of the proposed Ram temple has begun.

This does not include the donations made by religious leaders, including Swami Chiddanand Saraswati of the Parmarth Niketan, Swami Avdeshanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, Baba Ramdev and other dignitaries who were in Ayodhya on Wednesday.

According to Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of the trust, "The total donation to the trust stood at Rs 30 crore when the logbook was last seen on Tuesday. Another Rs 11 crore was donated by Morari Babu, which makes it about Rs 41 crore. However, the amount does not include donations made on Wednesday."

The seer also stated that people had contributed for the cause of Ram temple even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sources said that donations totalling Rs 4.60 crore were received in two separate official accounts of the trust since March 25 when the lockdown was first imposed.

Online donations also came for the temple from the day the trust rolled out a net banking option on Ram Navami this year. Sources confided that over 5,000 people have availed the option. "The interesting part is that people are contributing from Rs 11 to whatever they can afford. But bigger amounts have come via cheques or e-banking," said a trust member.

The treasurer further said that the trust was loaded with queries for donations from overseas.

"We cannot accept money from NRIs till we get the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act certification which is in process. Then, the trust will immediately get donations worth Rs 5-7 crore," he said.

Trust officials also made it clear they were not averse to accepting donations from people of other religions.

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