Ahmednagar, Maharashtra–The management of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST), Shirdi received Rs 287 crore in donations this year, a top official said here on Tuesday.
“Yes, the donation in various forms is around Rs 287 crores from January 1 to December 31 so far. It has surpassed last year’s calendar collection of Rs 285 crores,” SSST Chief Executive Officer Deepak Muglikar told IANS.
While around Rs 217 crore has come in the form of cash offerings and at collection counters, Rs 70 crore — nearly 33 per cent — has come from non-cash routes like cheques, demand drafts, money-orders, credit/debit cards, online transfers, foreign currencies, etc., he said.
The donations include gold jewellery, coins, guineas and other valuables of around 19 kgs, and offerings of silver articles weighing 391 kgs, said Muglikar.
Giving the highlights, the CEO said that cash counters and collection boxes brought out Rs 60.84 crore and 156.49 crore respectively, plus Rs 10.58 crore in foreign currencies.
Another Rs 23.35 crore came by way of cheques, Rs 2.17 crore through money-orders, Rs 17.59 crore by credit/debit cards, and Rs 16.02 crore via online transfers to the SSST coffers.
Last year (2018) was the centenary year of the Samadhi of Saibaba, a wandering saint, revered by all communities, with grand celebrations held at his final resting place, Shirdi.
The year-long celebrations attracted over one crore devotees from around the world, including top VVIPs like President R. N. Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The centenary year also put the small town on the country’s air-map with the inauguration of the Shirdi Airport for commercial operations in late 2017. (IANS)