Hyderabad: Archaks working in small temples across the state who are finding it difficult to make ends meet have reasons to cheer. As a state formation day gift, Telangana government is extending DDNS (Dhoopa Deepa Naivedyam Scheme) to over three thousand temples across the state. Under this scheme, an aid of Rs 6,000 would be given to each small temple towards naivedyam and archak salary every month.
It may be mentioned here that as of now over 1,800 temples in the state are under this scheme of endowments department. In the combined state, small temples, mostly with one priest to conduct prayers, used to get a meagre amount of Rs 2,500 towards naivedyam and salary.
However, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao revised the payment made under DDNS in 2015. Accordingly, directions were given to endowments department to enhance the aid from Rs 2,500 to Rs 6,000 per month (Rs 2,000 towards naivedyam and Rs 4,000 towards salary of archaks) to each temple.
The expenditure was to be met from Common Good Fund and it came into force from June 2015. According to Gangu Bhanumurthy, chairman of JAC of temple archaks and administration staff, these 3,000 temples have been shortlisted at the rate of nearly three hundred temples from the erstwhile ten districts. Most of the small temples are in Karimnagar district while Ranga Reddy has a comparatively smaller number.
Archaks from these small temples are urging the government to enhance the aid under DDNS up to Rs 10,000, but it is unlikely their demand will be considered in the near future. Nearly 11,000 temples are registered with the Endowment Department....