UDUPI: Ashwatthamma, an 80-year-old alms seeker in Saligrama in Udupi, has donated Rs 1 lakh from her savings to the Sri Gurunarasimha Temple, remitting the money to the ‘Anna Daana’ fund. Ashwatthama who took to begging three decades ago said she also donated Rs 1.5 lakh to the Sri Rajarajeshwari Temple in Dakshina Kannada district recently.
Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Ashwatthamma shifted to Kundapur 30 years ago after the demise of her husband and son. She is also a great devotee of Lord Ayyappa Swamy and has been making a pilgrimage for many years to Sabarimala where she donates too. She said that she prayed to the Lord that COVID-19 should go away and donated the money for the cause of 'Anna Daana' (mass feeding) with the intention that no one goes hungry.
When politicians take pride in raising cutouts and banners making claims for the donations they make to the temples or society, Ashwatthamma does not seek any recognition. Clad in a black saree and wearing holy beads around her neck, she appears energetic even at this age. "I go to people with one line 'Bhavati Biksham Dehi’ and collect money from Re 1 to Rs 1,000 to donate to temples," Ashwatthamma says with a sense of satisfaction on her face.
Ashwatthamma is a classic example of how savings work. She not only collects money by seeking alms but also multiplies it by keeping it in the bank. "I put this money in a pigmy deposit scheme. When it turns to Rs 1 lakh, then I donate it to temples," says Ashwatthamma at the Sri Gurunarasimha Temple.