Chilkur Balaji temple, more famous among the residents of Hyderabad (if not among the larger Indian community) as the “Visa temple” because it is believed to aid those who have applied for US Visa, has adopted a “say-no-to-plastic” policy.
Known earlier for doing away with “Hundi” (a box where devoutees contribute to the temple) and “VIP Darshan” ( a special queue line for VIPs that gets them directly to the sanctum sanctorum), this is the first time the temple has made its foray into environmental preservation.
Ostensibly, the drive is an instant success. The Hindu reports
‘Say No to Plastic’ , the pilot scheme taken up by the Chilkur Balaji temple to allow only handloom bags and launched on Saturday, saw sale of 15,000 handloom bags out of 20,000 bags sourced by it.
To put those numbers in context, The Hindu reports,
The temple attracts about 6,000 devotes on normal days and 15,000 to 20,000 devotees on week-ends and its annual consumption of handloom cloth is around two lakh metres.
The fabrics for handloom bags are sourced from APCO, the Andhra Pradesh handloom weavers’ co-operative society and Sircilla Handloom Weavers Society. The fabrics that sources are stictched into bags with the help of “Mahila Pranganam”
The scheme got all the encouragement from the State government and Apco which supplied the handloom scrap at 80 per cent subsidy for making the bags.
India being a country with no paucity of devoutness, environmental awareness spread by a religious institution will probably prove to be very effective.