HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Archaka Samakhya leaders have lashed out at the state government for neglect of the welfare of Archakas working in temples.
Speaking to press persons here on Friday, APAS vice-president MV Soundar Rajan said the government was not only neglecting the welfare of the archakas but was also not giving proper respect to them. "Endowment officials have been harassing the archakas with various restrictions," he said.
Soundar Rajan said several Acts made for the welfare of archakas were not being implemented and the priests were deprived of housing and educational loans.
Samakhya general secretary Atreya Babu said the families were not receiving death benefits in case archakas died on duty. Besides, the endowment department was not releasing medical bills.
"A circular released by the endowment commissioner on January 9, 2012 prohibits archakas and other employees working with the department from enjoying various benefits. The circular is against the various Acts made by the government earlier for the welfare of archakas."
Citing the suicide by a temple priest at Alampur in Mahbubnagar district in 2001, he said that perhaps Andhra Pradesh was the only state where the temple priests were forced to commit suicide because of lack of welfare measures.
Vice-president S Nandiswar, secretaries KVSRN Acharyulu and Peddinti Rambabu were present.