The novel coronavirus crisis isn't just affecting people but gods' abodes as well. Due to the lockdown, the renowned Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai's Prabhadevi area has been closed since the past three and a half months. In such a situation, the temple trust is facing major financial problems, sources say. According to a report, on an average one lakh rupees was collected daily through the temple's donation box and other religious activities. So, based on some estimates, the temple has lost about Rs 18 crore in this lockdown period.
The Siddhivinayak temple administration has refused to comment on the issue, saying the matter is entirely with the accounts department. Sources say that the average annual income of the temple is around Rs 96 crore. In the first 15 days of June, as soon as it starts to rain in Mumbai, the crowd of devotees at the temple grows smaller than on other days. So, observers say if only April, May, the last 15 days of June and the first fortnight of July are taken into consideration, then the money lost comes up to around Rs 18 crore. The Siddhivinayak temple collects about Rs 3 crore a month from the donation box and Rs 3 crore from the rest of the religious activities including prasad.
At present, online darshan and aarti are free for devotees. But one has to pay for the puja. The closure of the temple has naturally affected the revenue. But this is not the time to look at income, the trust says. According to the administration, they are helping many people during this coronavirus pandemic as well as providing medical help if needed. The Siddhivinayak temple trust has given Rs 5 crore to Hiware village. According to the trust, they have donated money in the CM Relief Fund and other social work.