Tamil Nadu

Temple workers urge govt to create posts in temples

Representatives of Tamil Nadu Temples Sripadham Thaangi Welfare Association, have urged the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to appoint a certain number of Sripadham as temple staff.

Shankar, president of the association for the welfare of those who carry the idols of deities of temples during processions, said that the department had created and appointed people for the post of Sripadham Thaangi at the Sriranganathar Temple in Srirangam.

"We are very much a part of the functioning of any temple. Many of us have been serving the deities for generations now. The payment that we get as part of the contract is very poor in many temples unless donors willingly give some additional payment. In some temples for one procession some ten of us get ₹120 totally," he said.

Another Sripadham Thaangi contractor Balaji, said that the requirements of men for various festivals differed from temple to temple. "At times we work continuously for 10 days with minimal breaks. We are responsible for bringing the utsava idol, placing it on the different vaaganams, palanquins or temple cars, taking them out on procession and then returning it to the temple," he explained.

An official source in the department said that the Sripadham Thaangi was part of the ethos of temples. "Major temples have festivals through the year making their presence very imperative. They are not paid for the physical labour that they put in," he said.

Temple blogger Prabhu said that while department staff serve as Sripadham Thaangi at Srirangam, in some temples like Parthasarathy Perumal Temple in Triplicane, the devotees themselves have been bagging tenders and carrying the idols.

With the restrictions on street processions for a major part of the last 12 months, the Sripadham Thaangi members have found life financially challenging, he added.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 7:44:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/temple-workers-urge-govt-to-create-posts-in-temples/article34835576.ece

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