If you grumble about your job being tedious, spare a thought for those 600-odd people who have been counting coins at Kerala’s famed Sabarimala temple for 69 days now.
The Travancore Devaswom Board had assured the Kerala High Court that the monetary offerings (kanika) in the Sannidhanam’s new treasury will be counted by January 25. However, with only one day to for the deadline, only one of three large heaps have been counted.
Notes and coins worth Rs 119 crore have reportedly been counted so far. According to estimates, coins worth Rs 15–20 crore are yet to be counted, which will reportedly take another two months. One-rupee, two-rupee, five-rupee, and 10-rupee coins are separated in a machine and then counted by hand.
Employees not allowed to go home
The workers have reportedly been spending nine hours a day counting coins. They will not even be allowed to leave the temple premises before counting is completed. The temple has been closed and the workers are reportedly unhappy with the bad food and stressful work conditions.
G Baiju, general secretary, Travancore Devaswom Employees’ Front, told Kerala Kaumudi that those on counting duty are exhausted and they must be released and new employees brought in to complete the counting before Kumbhamasa pooja.
This situation arose in 2017, too, but Dhanlaxmi Bank had chipped in at that time with machines that counted and sorted coins and dropped them into bags. Employees only needed to sew up the bags. It seems the temple workers could do with that kind of help this time, too.
(With agency inputs)