Lucknow: The campaign to collect donations for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is in full swing, but the temple trust is now faced with a unique challenge.
Members of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra, which is raising donations for the temple, told ThePrint they have appealed to the donors not to donate silver bricks as their bank lockers have no space to store them.
More than 400 kg of silver bricks have been donated so far, they added.
“People from all across the country are sending silver bricks for use in the construction of the temple. We now have way too many silver bricks that we have to think hard about how to keep them in safe storage,” Dr Anil Mishra, a trust member, told ThePrint.
“Therefore, the trust is now appealing to the donors not to donate silver.”
Mishra said “all our bank lockers are full (with silver)”.
“We fully respect the sentiments of Lord Ram’s devotees, but it is our humble request that they should not send any more silver bricks. We will also have to spend a lot of money to safely store them.”
Mishra also said if there is any further need of silver for the construction of the temple, then “we will issue an appeal”.
Trust sources, meanwhile, said they have so far received cash donations of over Rs 1,600 crore.
Digging work in progress
A trust official, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint that representatives of several organisations, including Vishwa Sindhi Seva Sangathan and Ambedkar Mahasabha Trust, had last week brought silver bricks to the trust’s office.
“Although the trust accepted those bricks, later on it was decided not to receive any more donation of silver. It would be better if the devotees opt to submit their donations through cash or online transactions,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mishra said currently, the digging work is in progress on the temple complex’s premises.
The soil excavation work has been completed up to a depth of about 9 metres. The entire digging and excavation exercise will be completed within a period of 70 days.
Towards the end of this month, there will be a meeting of the trust to review the works done so far.
Cash donation crosses Rs 1,600-crore mark
According to sources associated with the trust, cash amounting to over Rs 1,600 crore has been received so far.
The donation campaign, titled ‘Nidhi Sankalp Sangrah’, aims to reach out to more than 12 crore families in over five lakh villages. The campaign, scheduled to run until 27 February, is being reviewed on a daily basis, said sources.
Various groups/teams formed by the trust to run this campaign have been asked to either transfer the money to the trust account or to accept donations as cheques.
Champat Rai, the trust’s general secretary, had earlier said that one lakh 50 thousand groups are engaged in this fund-raising campaign.
The entire temple will be built within the next 39 months, he had said.