New Delhi: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra will collect funds for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya from outside India only if contributions from within the country are not enough to meet the project costs, ThePrint has learnt.
Senior office bearers of the trust told ThePrint that it will not go for registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) anytime soon. Members of the trust, which has been constituted to look after the construction and management of the temple, is confident that it will raise the requisite amount from within the country.
The trust had started a 44-day-long “mass contact and contribution campaign” from 15 January to collect funds for the project. The drive ended on 27 February, on Magh Purnima. Coupons of Rs 10, Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 denominations were used for collecting funds.
The campaign for collection of funds was undertaken by the Vishva Hindu Parishad and a number of other organisations on behalf of the trust.
Speaking to ThePrint, a senior office bearer of the trust said the campaign, which also involved a door-to-door collection drive, has raised close to Rs 2,500 crore.
Even though the campaign is closed now, funds continue to pour in, said the senior office bearer. And the trust is hopeful that the funds collected so far will be sufficient for the project.
“In this drive we could actually reach out to just 10 per cent of the Indian population, therefore, we are not refusing anyone who is approaching us even after the drive is officially over. The trust will soon evaluate the actual construction cost and then take a call on whether there is a need for a second drive or not,” he added.
Largest contribution from Rajasthan
The overwhelming response which the campaign received is the reason why the trust will not apply for registration under the FCRA, informed senior officer bearers.
“We are confident of raising enough funds from within India. We will look outside only if there is a shortfall,” said another member of the trust.
He added that the campaign was a huge success in all states, including those with non-BJP governments. So far, the trust has received a maximum contribution of around Rs 500 crore from Rajasthan. The state also tops the list in terms of individual contributions, ThePrint was informed.
“If you compare on a population scale, Telangana, despite its much lesser population has contributed significantly,” the member quoted above said.
However, contributions from Uttar Pradesh, where the temple will come up, the trust has managed to collect a little over Rs 200 crore.
The trust had opened virtual accounts for a specific period to deposit the money collected during the door-to-door campaign. But since contributions continue to pour in, the money will now go to the regular accounts, some other members of the trust said.
“A team of young professionals with a background in accounts was entrusted the task to maintain a record of deposits. Every donation was being tracked on a real-time basis. Today, on the click of a button we know how much money was deposited in which virtual account of the trust. Even now, we are keeping a record of the donations in the same way,” another member said.
The temple would be constructed using stones only, and no steel will be used. The construction will take at least 36-40 months and the temple is likely to be ready by 2024, ThePrint was told. The temple would be constructed with an estimated life of 1,000 years.
(Edited by Myithili Hazarika)