BENGALURU: With the Central government banning the existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, coins in hundis at temples are not clinking like before. Thanks to the devotees, who are offering ‘valuable’ notes and not coins.
Devotees are asking for change from priests for currency notes of higher denomination. “On Wednesday, the weight of the hundi in our temple was less. We opened it in the night and found that it had more notes than coins. There were a considerable number of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Everyday on an average, we get around Rs 2,500 from the hundi. But on Wednesday, we collected over Rs 6,000,” Lakshminarayana Sharma, the priest at a Ganapathy temple near Rajajinagar said.
Sripathi (name changed) who works at a Raghavendra Swamy mutt in Bengaluru South said, “People are so shameless. They come with Rs 500 notes and ask us to return four Rs 100 notes. They think they are doing us a favour by giving Rs 100.” Earlier some shop keepers used to come to us for change, but now this is not acceptable.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Muzarai will soon issue a circular to all its 34,500 temples not to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. “At present, devotees are offering Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and we are accepting them. Some are even putting such notes in the hundi. We are going to exchange them in banks soon,” said an official.
He added that they have written to higher officials about issuing instructions to the temples on not accepting the old notes. “A board will be put in all our temples requesting devotees not to offer such notes. Despite this, if people put such notes in hundis, we cannot do anything. In the coming days, they will be just be piece of papers for us,’’ he added.
However, not all temples had to contend with demonetised notes. Ramachandra Bhattacharya of Gali Anjaneya temple on Mysuru Road said they have not received such notes. “People who come are devotees and god fearing, they will not do such a sin,’’ he said.