Guest Post by :- Raghav Meattle, Business Development & Marketing, Instamojo
Temple donations have been a part of Indian tradition since time immemorial. From the small inconspicuous hundi at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum to online payments through websites, donating to your favorite deity is a lot easier in today’s day and age.
But what happens to your money? Are your donations safe? Here are a few things you should know before your next pilgrimage.
- Trust the temple trusts.
One of the richest temples in the world, the Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple has its own trust, the TTD Temple Trust, governed by a committee to allocate funds. Large temples like this, receiving hundreds of crore in a year in donation, typically have similar structures. Read up about the trusts and the programs that they run. Are they a good fit for you?
- Sponsor a scheme.
Most temples run welfare, educational or food and water distribution programs with fixed prices. By funding one, you could even participate in its implementation and ensure that your well-earned money reaches the right mouths.
- Receive a receipt.
No matter where you pay or how, ensure that you are provided with an acknowledgement of the amount you paid and the purpose of the same. Except temple hundis, which typically receive small cash donations, most cheque, online and large cash transactions to temples should be receipted.
- Governed by the government.
Some state governments in the country have taken over temple finances and all donations made to the temple have to be turned over to their coffers. Under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act XXII, over hundreds of thousands of temples have been taken over in this manner, and the state government decides on fund allocation. What is your state government’s stance on your favorite temple?