TN temple priests, workers to get Rs 4,000 COVID-19 assistance

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Chennai, May 31 (PTI) About 14,000 temple workers in Tamil Nadu including priests would be provided COVID-19 relief assistance of Rs 4,000 and a pack of essential commodities including ten kg rice, the government announced on Monday.

In about 36,000 temples under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the government, priests (Archakas and Bhattacharyas) and other workers do not get a regular monthly salary, the government said.

The workers and priests who depend on the visit of devotees and their contributions for their livelihood are facing a tough time in view of the lockdown due to the pandemic and it is the need of the hour to provide them relief, HR and CE Minister P K Sekar Babu said in a statement.

Chief Minister M K Stalin has ordered Rs 4,000 one time relief assistance, 10 kg rice, and 15 grocery items to temple workers and priests after considering representation from them seeking financial assistance, he said.

In total, about 14,000 workers including priests would be benefitted and the assistance programme would be rolled out on June 3, the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the Minister said.

From May 10, lockdown was clamped in Tamil Nadu and even before the curbs were implemented, temples were closed for public worship last month as part of overall measures to help contain the spread of coronavirus. PTI VGN BN BALA BN BALA

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