Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) is feeling the rage of the devotees in backdrop of the Supreme Court's order in the Sabarimala case.

According to The New Indian Express report, the revenue in temples has fallen by 40% after the Devaswom Board's decision to implement court’s order. Other Devaswom Boards in the state are devising strategies to counter the drive to avoid commercial offerings to temples.  

Former TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan was the first to make a call not to offer money to temples as he is one of them leading the devotees’ protests against allowing women from the age of 10 to 50 into the shrine.

Prayar urged devotees to deposit a paper piece with the writing “Swami Saranam” in the offering boxes instead of money.

TDB officials reportedly said that donation boxes in several temples are jammed with paper pieces. “It is almost sure that the revenue at Sabarimala would see a drop owing to the protests. The campaign has affected revenue at other temples too,” the officials reported, according to The New Indian Express report.

MK Sudarsan, the Cochin Devaswom Board president said the current campaign was a continuation of the “Sangh Pariwar’s hateful publicity” to defame the Devaswom Boards. “Devotees have fallen into their trap in some places like the Mayannoor temple where offering boxes are filled with paper scripts,” he said.

Sudarsan also said that the Board had started awareness programmes to counter the “false drives”. “Already, the Devaswom Boards are dependent on the government grant to bridge the revenue expenditure gap. Such campaigns would put the lives of over 3,000 staff under the CDB at stake,” he added.

If the “no-donation” campaign succeeds, it would be the fourth setback to the Malabar Devaswom Board (MDB) in a row. The Board is striving hard to increase its revenue, which was hit by the demonetisation, Nipah and floods, said the Devaswom Board president.

“We will not allow the campaign to achieve any momentum. I will lead the campaign against Sangh Parivar-backed move to decrease the Board’s revenue,” MDB president said. The recent floods and Nipah virus had severely affected the revenue of the Malabar Devaswom Board temples, he added. “There was a drop of Rs five lakh Muttaravu Vazhipadu (an offering) at the Kadampuzha temple alone,” he said.