The Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti, Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad and Shri Kashi Vidvat Parishad have launched a campaign ‘Hamari Kashi, Hamare Devalaya’ to look after the 1,000 neglected and forlorn temples mentioned in ‘Kashi Khand’ of ‘Skanda Purana’.
The campaign has been launched by president of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, Mahant Ravindra Puri, general secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti, Swami Jitendranand Saraswati Maharaj, Mahant Swami Shankar Puri, Maharaj of Annapurna Mandir and general secretary of Shri Kashi Vidvat Parishad Prof Ram Narain Dwivedi.
“There are over 1,000 temples in Varanasi listed in ‘Kashi Khand’. So far, we have identified 40 neglected temples, and further identification is in progress,” said Govind Sharma, campaign in-charge and general secretary of Ganga Mahasabha.
He said, 108 such temples would be covered under the first phase of the campaign and Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti will allocate Rs 2,500 per month for worship and Rs 5,000 a month for the serving priest as honorarium.
The resolution of this campaign was taken in the Sanskritik Sansad in Kashi last year.
Mahant Ravindra Puri, the president of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad and general secretary of Mahanirvani Akhara, said that neglected temples of Kashi would be put in order, and arrangements would be made for regular worship, ‘shringar’ and ‘aarti’.
He said, a committee led by the general secretaries of Shri Kashi Vidvat Parishad and Ganga Mahasabha would select such temples. The financial management would be done by Mahanirvani Akhara.
He called upon the devotees to actively participate in this campaign. Swami Jitendranand Saraswati said, the campaign is important for the protection of religion and public awareness.
Later, 10-member committees of local people would be formed to take care of the arrangements at the temples.