Stopping praying to God to get prayers heard by the political almighty, is what priests in temples across Telangana are doing. All in the hope that they will reward their prayer for a pay hike, reports NDTV.
Over 6000 archakas, or temple priests, are protesting – wearing black badges, raising slogans and going on bike rallies – demanding pay on par with other state government employees of the Endowment Department.
They claim that a regular employee gets a salary of aroundRs. 20,000 per month while they are paid only Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000 per month.
Chakradari Acharyulu, a priest at Venkateswara Temple in Chikkadpally (Hyderabad), said:
“No one is ready to get married into our family. That is because we get very less salary. We get around Rs. 3000 to 4000. It is very difficult to make a living. Especially in a city like Hyderabad, to survive one needs at least Rs. 10,000 – 15,000.”
Since Thursday, 2,000 relatively big temples and 10,000 smaller ones have been closed for most part of the day. Only morning prayers are been done .
Priests are hoping that with the birth of Telangana, their prayers will be answered. Ranga Reddy, president of Telangana Archakas Association, said:
“We have been asking for this for the last 15-20 years. If our salary is not increased, no one will want to work as archaka. Then how will temples survive?”
Time waits for no man they say, but Gods perhaps will have to be patient to get full-fledged services restarted till the prayers of the priests are heard by powers on this earth.