Saibaba trust to act against swindling employees

The Asian Age.  | bhagwan parab

Metros, Mumbai

Thousands of devotees visit Shirdi every day to seek darshan of Shirdi Saibaba.

Shirdi Saibaba temple (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Taking serious note of reports of devotees being swindled, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) at Shirdi has decided to clamp down on its erring priests and employees. In addition to taking strict action against them, the trust has also decided to hold periodic inspections in the Sai Mandir. Thousands of devotees visit Shirdi every day to seek darshan of Shirdi Saibaba. However, there have been complaints of being duped by priests and employees while performing poojas.

A Mumbai resident, who recently visited Shirdi, shared his bitter experience. “I had made a booking for Shri Sai Satyavrat Pooja on January 22 at 9 am by paying fees of Rs 101. However, I was astonished to find that Sansthan employees and priests were using the same material that was used for the previous pooja for the next worship. The coconut and betel nuts were placed at the same place again by wiping off the haldi-kumkum on them.

Even flowers offered to God for the earlier worship were recollected and put in place for the next pooja. I tried to question the employees, but they turned a deaf ear to my pleas,” said Mangesh Varvadekar from Sion. “When the Sansthan charges us for the pooja, we pay it in the belief that fresh flowers and material will be used for the worship. But here employees and priests are swindling the devotees by using old material for pooja. With this, they must minting lot of money considering that hundreds of poojas take place every day,” he said.

When contracted, Suresh Haware, the SSST chairman, said, “I have inquired about this and found that there is truth in this. I have immediately ordered for corrections and periodic inspections as well as action against culprits.”