ANNADHANAM SCHEME :


“Person providing food are hailed as persons providing lives” – Thus insists and instructs ‘Purananooru’ great Tamil classical literature of Sangam age that dates before 2,000 years.

Above noble and novel scheme, was inaugurated by our Hon’ble Chief Minister Purachi Thalaivi Amma on 23.3.2002 at Mylapore Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar temple by serving food with Hon’ble Chief Minister Amma’s own hands of glory. This scheme was implemented in 63 temples in first phase. After that, this scheme was extended to 360 temples in seven stages in a phased manner. Later the Scheme was extened to cover 518 temples. Our religious Saints and scholars have ever been stressing significance of Annadhanam since ancient times that fact that providing Annadhanam is best of all gestures of donations. Knowing this, and providing life, people from common man to millionaire are contributing this scheme.

An account was opened in Commissioner designation exclusively for Annadhanam scheme. A sum of Rs.3.27 crore was collected and deposited in this account. From surplus funds of affluent temples, a sum of Rs.20 crore was deposited as a permanent investment exclusively for this scheme. Now this amount has accumulated to Rs.26.99 crore.

Interest accured from this fund is being distributed to temples, which are in need of funds for implementing this scheme. In all 518 temples where Annadhanam Scheme has been implemented, hundials have been installed exclusively for this Scheme.

Due to lack of proper importance shown to this scheme, for there was a great fall in number of beneficiaries and poor quality of food. After this Government assumed charge. Hon’ble Chief Minister Purachi Thalaivi Amma has ordered to ensure to serve food to adequate number of beneficiaries and to improve quality of food. Hon’ble Chief Minister Purachi Thalaivi Amma has also ordered to serve Annadhanam with Vadai and Payasam on Sundays at temples having affluent surplus funds. Hon’ble Chief Minister Purachi Thalaivi Amma has given new life to this Scheme by instructing to extend Annadhanam Scheme to 206 temples more. Acccordingly steps have been taken to implement this Scheme in a more effective manner.

As per the order of the Hon’ble Chief Minister Annadhanam Scheme has been implemented in 206 new temples on 15.09.2015. Now under the Annadhanam Scheme Annadhanam provided in 724 temples in effective manner. This Scheme is receiving high praises from scholars, dignitaries, devotees, public and by religious people.

SPIRITUAL AND MORAL CLASSES :


As desired by the Honourable Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma spiritual and moral classes are conducted on all Saturdays in all important temples to make our children imbibe the high moral and ethical values enshrined in our ancient literature through stories which embody our cultural heritage and tradition. These children are provided with snacks during such classes and awards will be distributed to the best children.

During the year 2015-2016, 32396 students have participated in the spiritual and moral classes at 485 temples.

Marriage Scheme for the Poor and Downtrodden :


The noble Scheme of marriages for the poor and downtrodden people belonging to the Hindu religion was first launched in 1981 by the then Honourable Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivar M.G.R. from the surplus funds of temples. People belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes benefitted under the Scheme. Honourable Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma performed the marriages of 1008 couples in 2002 and 1053 couples in 2003 at Tiruverkadu. Further marriages were also conducted for 489 couples in few temples. This noble scheme was given up during the previous regime. As ordered by the Honourable Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma during the year 2012-2013, marriages for 1006 couples have been conducted on 18.06.2012 at a venue near Tiruverkadu Temple in a fitting manner by providing 4 grams of Gold for Thirumangalyam and wedding gifts worth Rs.10,000 each. A sum of Rs.1.51 crore has been spent for this scheme. Steps are being taken to conduct this scheme effectively.

SPECIAL REJUVENATION CAMP FOR ELEPHANTS :


In tune with the sublime concept of Honourable Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma reflected in the lines “Like human beings all other living beings also deserve the same mercy and kindness”, Elephant Camp was organized well in a cool and natural environment suitable for the elephants for their physical and mental well being.

Special Rejuvenation Camps for Elephants were organized during 2003, 2004 and 2005 for the elephants maintained by individuals and temples in a cool environment conductive to elephants at Mudumalai Theppakkadu. This camp approach which was given up during 2006-2010 was restored in 2011-2012 and conducted on 14.12.2011 for 48 days at Mudumalai Theppakkadu.

From the year 2012-2013 the camp is being organized on the banks of the Bhavani River near Tehkkampatti Arulmigu Vanbhadrakaliamman Temple at Mettupalayam in Coimbatore District.

In the year 2012-2013, 34 Temple and Mutt Elephants from Tamil Nadu and 1 elephant from a temple belonging to Puducherry Union Territory participated, underwent rejuvenation in the camp.

In the year 2013-2014, 31 Temple and Mutt Elephants from Tamil Nadu, along with 18 elephants from Forest Department, 2 elephants from Puducherry Union Territory and 1 from Nagoor Darga totally 52 elephants participated in the camp.

In the year 2014-2015, 28 Temple and Mutt Elephants 2 elephants from Union Territory of Puducherry participated in the camp.

In 2015-2016, 29 Temple and Mutt Elephants and 2 elephants from Union Territory of Puducherry participated in the camp. The elephants of Temples and Mutts which were unable participate in this camp were also given the same nutritious food and medicines as supplied in the camp for better physical and mental health. In this camp, training was given not only for elephants but also for the mahouts who were taught on safety and maintenance of elephants to keep them healthy. The entire expenditure of this camp is borne by the Government.

REVIVAL OF KALA POOJA :


Keeping in mind, irregularity in performing Kala Poojas found in a few financially needy but historically renowned ancient temples, Hon'ble Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma ordered in year 2005 for performing full fledged Kalapoojas. Accordingly 22 financially weak temples were provided with financial assistance by financially affluent temples. This Scheme was abandoned by previous Government. After this Government assumed office, steps have been taken for reviving this exemplary scheme.

VILLAGE TEMPLE POOSARIGAL WELFARE BOARD :


For Village Poosarigal, performing Poojas in village temples which are not under control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, a separate Board namely " Village Temple Poosarigal Welfare Board" has been constituted. This Welfare Board has Hon'ble Minister as Chairman along with 10 official members and 9 non-official members. Through this Welfare Board, Village Temple Poosaris are provided with following assistances. upper income limit for availing assistance under this scheme is Rs.24,000/- per annum.

S.No. Assistance provided under welfare scheme Amount
1 For purchase of spectacles Rs.500/-
2 For Maternity/abortion expenses of Poosari's wife or daughter Rs.6000/-
3 For Higher Education of children of a Poosari. From Rs.1000/- to Rs.6000/-
4 For marriage of Poosari or ir son/ daughter's marriage Rs.6000/-
5 For performing last rites of a deceased member, for ir legal hair

Rs.2000/- Rs.15,000/-

ORU KALA POOJA SCHEME :


This Scheme has been in force since 1986 for performance of Oru Kala Pooja in temples which do not have financial means to perform even a single Kala Pooja. In order to make public participate in this scheme Hon’ble Chief Minister Purachithalaivi Amma facilitated by an order in year 1993 that when contribution of Rs.2500/- received from public, Rs.20,000/- from surplus funds of affluent temples, Rs.1300/- from Temple Renovation and Charitable Endowment Fund, Rs.1200/- from Temple Welfare Fund and a contribution of Rs.22,500/- from Department will make a total amount of Rs.25,000/- to be deposited as fixed deposit under this scheme. Thus, interest accuring from deposit will be utilized for Oru Kala Poona of specified temples, so far, 12,504 temples have been benefited under Scheme.

interest accruing from fixed deposit of Rs.25,000/- is not sufficient to perform a single Kala Pooja every day. Hence there was a setback in last few years and purpose of this Scheme was not fulfilled. After knowing fact that interest received from fixed deposit of Rs.25,000/- for every temple is insufficient to perform properly Oru Kala Pooja, Hon’ble Chief Minister Puratchithalaivi Amma after assuming Office has ordered for raising this fixed deposit to Rs.1,00,000/- for every temple enabling Scheme to be carried out effectively. Action has been taken for performing Oru Kala Poojas everyday from interest received from this deposit.

DISTRIBUTION OF SAREES/DHOTIES :


In important temples, cotton sarees and dhoties received as offerings are distributed to elderly persons, destituties and widows on Independence day and Anna Memorial Day during events of common feast held in those temples.

REFRESHER TRAINING COURSE :


For Archages, Bhattachariars and Odhuvars to do work efficiently. Refresher Course Scheme was started in year 1991 and functioned effectively. Under this Scheme. Prominent temples have been selected in each Assistant Commissioner division from year 2011-2016 , 8436 persons are benefited by this Scheme.

APPOINTMENT OF NATHASWARA ARTISTS :


For playing ‘Nathaswaram’ during time of festivals and poojas at financially poor temple which are ancient and praised by Alwars and Nayanmars in ir hymns, a corpus of Rs.1 crore has been deposited for enabling payment for Musicians recruited for playing Nathaswaram, Thavil and Thaala instruments at a monthly salary of Rs. 1500/-, Rs.1000/- and Rs.750/- respectively implemention of this Scheme was stopped in intervening period. Steps have been taken for implementing this Scheme in a perfect mannaer.

WELFARE SCHEMES FOR TEMPLE EMPLOYEES :


Different categories of employees are working in temples under control of H.R.&.C.E. Department. welfare schemes available for temple employees are listed below.

  • Employees Provident Fund Scheme.
  • Departmental Pension Scheme.
  • Family Benefit Fund Scheme.
  • Special Provident Fund and Gratuity Scheme.
  • Temple Employees Welfare Fund Scheme.
  • Pension Scheme for Archakar, Odhuvar, Vedhaparayanar, Arayars, DivyaPrabhandam reciters and Musicians.
  • Advance for Marriage, Festival and for purchase of Vehicles.
  • Appointment on Compassionate Grounds.
  • Kudamuzhukku Incentive.
  • Additional Incentive for Annual Festivals.
  • Pongal Ex-gratia Payment.
  • Financial Assistance for Higher Education of Children of Temple Employees
  • Providing Uniforms and Identity Cards for Temple Employees.
  • Computer Training for Temple Employees.
  • Providing Free Bicycles for Archakas / Poosaris of Temples where Oru Kala Pooja is Performed.

i. Family Benefit Fund Scheme

This Scheme was introduced to help heirs of temple employees dying inharness. A corpus fund of Rs.15 crore has been created for implementation of this Scheme. In this scheme, Rupees one lakh is granted for heirs of deceased.

ii. Special Provident Fund Scheme

This Scheme was introduced for welfare of employees of temples having an annual income of Rs.1 lakkh and above. A corpus fund of Rs.50 lakh has been created for this Scheme out of surplus funds of affluent temples. An amount of Rs.5000/- is disbursed as gratuity under this Scheme along with total subscription paid by retiring employee during his service.

iii. Temple Employees Welfare Scheme

A Corpus fund was created with diversion of surplus funds from affluent temples, to the tune of Rs.5 crore for this scheme. Interest earned out of this deposit is being disbursed to the temples, having an assessable income of less than Rs.1,00,000/- in order to pay the salary arrears of their employees whose monthly salary of less than Rs.750/-

iv. Appointments on Compassionate Grounds

scheme of providing jobs on compassionate grounds to legal heirs of temple employees died in service is under implementation in temples.

v. Pension Schemes

A.Pension for Archakars, Othuvars, Vedhaparayanars, Arayars, Devyaaprabandam reciters, Musicians

Archakars, Othuvars, Vedhaparayanars, Arayars, Devyaprabandam reciters, who have served for 20 years in temples and attained 60 years of age are paid a monthly pension of Rs.750/- from Gobernment funds through this Department.

After this Government took charge, Hon’ble Chief Minister Puratchi |Thalaivi Amma has orderd to raise monthly pension from Rs.750/- to Rs.1000/-

list of beneficiaries of this Scheme is as follows:

S.No

Pension beneficiary

Number of persons approved by Government

Total number of beneficiaries

1

Othuvars

125

26

2

Vedham/Prabandham/Araiyars

59

11

3

Musicians

125

50

4

Archakars (Saivam and Vainavam)

691

277

 

Total

1000

364

B.Village Poosarigal Pension Scheme

Government have sanctioned a monthly pension of Rs.1000/- for 4000 village Temple Poosaris who have served more than 20 years in village temple which are not directlyunder control of this Department and attained 60 years of age. Under this Schemes. 3037 village Poosaris are being benefited.

C. Pension Schemes for or Employees Serving in Temples

There are two types of Pension scheme implemented since March 2006, for temple employees.

    i) Employees Provident Fund Scheme

    This Schemes is applicable to all employees working in temples. As per this Scheme employees who have more than 10 years of service, subscribe to Employees Provident Fund Scheme, and receive benefits like pension and faily pension under this Scheme.

    ii) Departmental Pension

    For employees who have less than 10 years of service on date of implementation of Scheme (1.3.2006) and all employees working in temples which are not affluent to subscribe for Employees Provident Fund Scheme, a Departmental Pension Scheme has been implemented in 2006. For disburding pension under this Departmental Pension Scheme, a corpus fund of Rs.50 crore has been created from surplus funds of affluent temples and from interest accrued on this corpus fund, pension of Rs.1000/- is disbursed monthly to retired temple employees who are unable to get pension through EPF Scheme.

vi) Financial Assistance to Children of a Temple Employees

Financial assistance of 25% in first year tuition fees is given to son or daughter of temple employees studying Professional Courses in a Government or a Government aided educational institution.