Temple grants to two schools withdrawn

The State government has withdrawn financial grant, given through the Kollur Mookambika Temple, to two government-aided private schools managed by the Sri Rama Vidyakendra Trust. The trust is led by RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada district.

The Muzrai temple in Udupi district has granted ₹2.83 crore to the two schools in the last decade — from 2007-08 (during the BJP-JD(S) coalition government) to 2016-17, towards midday meals, textbooks and uniforms of students.

According to the Government Order on July 31, 2017, the adoption of the two schools — Sri Rama Vidya Kendra, Kalladka, and Sri Devi Vidya Kendra, Punacha — has been cancelled. The temple had granted ₹2.32 crore to Sri Rama Vidya Kendra and ₹50.72 lakh to Sri Devi Vidya Kendra during the period.

The order said that as per the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997 (Rules 2002) no private educational institute can be adopted by any temple. Granting fund would be a burden on the temple.

C. Janardhan, executive officer of the temple, told The Hindu that the two schools had been adopted by the temple as per the order of the then State government in 2007-08. Only these two schools had been adopted. The temple itself manages seven schools in Kundapur taluk in Udupi district. Of them, one is government aided and six are unaided, he said.

2,250 students benefited

Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that 2,250 poor students were benefiting from the government grant. The trust was getting rice and other commodities for midday meals and textbooks. The temple had started giving cash since three years and accounts had been maintained.

Mr. Bhat alleged that “hate politics” by B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, was responsible for the grant being denied. He demanded to know how rules changed after so many years.

Mr. Rai was unavailable for comment.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:24:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/temple-grants-to-two-schools-withdrawn/article19452870.ece

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