Believe it or not, but the tonsured hair offered by thousands of devotees thronging the temple town generates `250 crore revenue per year for the TTD. The income generated through hair amounts to 10 per cent of the devasthanam’s total annual income.
March, April and May months are considered the thriving months for the offering, with about 15 per cent of the hair being generated in March alone.
During the season, many parents avidly flock to Tirupati after their children finish the competitive examinations. About 30 per cent pilgrims visiting Tirumala shrine on normal days and 70 per cent pilgrims during summer offer hair to fulfil their wishes.
TTD earned a whopping `85 crore recently from sale of hair in the e-auctions, jointly conducted with the Material Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC) - a public sector unit - by inviting global tenders.
TTD officials said they were contemplating recruiting as many as 350 new barbers soon, including a few females. The TTD has 605 barbers - 285 on regular basis and 320 working on piece rate. Of the total 605 employed at Kalyana Katta, 59 are females, he added.
The Kalyana Katta administration is planning to open two more mini kattas at Nandakam and Sannidhanam soon after issuing the recruitment notification. Six viable locations, including main Kalyana Katta at Sri Padmavthi guest house, PAC-1, PAC-2, SVGH, and ANC Cottage areas, are working round the clock and 18 mini Kalyana Kattas work 12 hours a day.