Shirdi Saibaba Temple
Shirdi Saibaba Temple

Coronavirus-induced lockdowns have affected the income of famous Saibaba temple here in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, a top official said on Wednesday.

On the other hand, there is a rise in donations made through the online mode compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

The shrine has been closed for devotees since March 17 in view of COVID-19 restrictions.

"The shrine received the income of Rs 115.16 crore from March 17 to August 31 this year, as against Rs 289.55 it had received in the corresponding period last year. This means the income has dipped by Rs 174 crore," Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust CEO Kanhuraj Bagate told PTI.

At Rs 94.39 crore, the maximum income was generated through the interest earned on fixed deposits during the lockdown period. The cash donations stood at 18.32 lakh, he said.

"The trust received Rs 11.47 crore as online donations compared to Rs 1.89 crore it had received through online mode during March 17 to August 31, 2019" the CEO said.

Last year, the shrine had received donation of 8.868 kg gold and 194 kg silver jewellery, but during the lockdown, it received only 162 gm gold and 2.6 kg silver, he said.

The trust spends Rs 55 crore towards management of the temple, he said, adding that an amount of Rs 13 crore goes towards the payment of 5,500 employees.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal