“The in-service training will continue and is mandatory for all priests. We hope it will bring a positive change,” said TDB member Subhash Vasu.
“The pathetic situation warrants immediate steps to improve the quality of the priests. It is inevitable to protect the divinity of temples and devotees’ rights,” said Thekkedath Kuzhikkattu Parameswaran Vasudevan Bhattathiripad, TDB thantri and state general secretary of Thantri Samajam.
“The refresher course covers only the pooja structure of the deity of the particular temple where the priest serves. As the priests could be transferred to any of the 1,200 temples under the board, a more elaborate training programme is needed,” Vasudevan Bhattathiripad said.
TDB Commissioner N Venugopal said the recommendation for an elaborate training module will be considered in future.
“The Justice Paripoornan Commission, in its report submitted to the High Court in 2007, had charted guidelines for appointing priests. The Commission had suggested that the newly appointed staff be given six-month training in religious rites and mooted the formulation of a syllabus for training. It is high time that the TDB implemented it,” said Hindu Aikyavedi state general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan.