Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Executive Officer AV. Dharma Reddy on Monday urged the media to play a pro-active role in the dissemination of information to the public and underlined the need for factual reporting in the face of a fervent and volatile social media.
In his inaugural address at the TTD sponsored two-day workshop for journalists at Tirupati, Mr. Reddy, who welcomed constructive criticism, also cautioned them to be aware of the cheap tactics indulged by fringe politicians and publicity mongers who, he said, did not hesitate to level false and frivolous allegations against the institution.
Do not ignore the version of TTD while reporting the narration of critics as it shall not give a true picture of the happenings to the readers, he said.
Recalling the infamous episode relating to the seizure of 1,381 kg of TTD gold by election officials in Chennai in 2019 while being transported to Tirupati, he said, though the onus of delivering the gold deposited under the gold scheme was on Punjab National Bank (PNB) the then officials were subjected to intense mental agony as social media was agog with unfounded and baseless stories.
He urged the media to act more responsibly as even an unintended error was likely to play havoc on the sentiments of devotees leave alone the damage inflicted on the serene image of the institution.
Listing out various corporate responsibilities shouldered by TTD, he said in addition to BIRRD and SVIMS super specialty hospitals, a paediatric hospital had been recently set up in Tirupati, which he said achieved a rare feat of performing over 400 open heart surgeries on infants and children in a span of six months. Efforts were also on to set up other allied wings like neurology, orology, orthopaedics etc., at the hospital and get it a world wide recognition. The medical services extended would be on a par with other corporate hospitals but will be at free of cost, he added.
On the socio-religious front, TTD had 35 educational institutions under its fold in addition to scores of Kalyana mandapams spread across the Telugu States, he said.