Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust has received donations worth a whopping Rs. 3.88 crore from devotees during the three-day Ram Navami festival held here, a senior trust official said.
The sansthan received Rs. 1.96 crore in cash boxes, Rs. 62 lakh at donation counters and Rs. 25 lakh through donations made online during the Ram Navami festival held from March 27-29.
Besides, gold and silver ornaments worth Rs. five lakh have also been received, Sansthan’s chief accounts officer Dilip Zirpe said.
The evaluation of the foreign currency donated by devotees from 20 countries during the three-day event was yet to be done, he said.
The trust also received offerings worth about Rs. one crore, including an air-conditioning system of Rs. 86 lakh from a Delhi-based devotee, two ‘chapati’ preparing machines by a devotee from Bangalore for Saibaba’s prasadalaya costing Rs. 13.60 lakh and one person from Delhi donated two machines to make packets of ‘prasad’, costing Rs. eight lakh, he said.
Till March 31, 2015, the Saibaba trust’s fixed deposits stood at Rs. 1,375 crore in various nationalised banks, showing an increase of 25 to 30 per cent in last five years, Zirpe said, adding that in 2009-10, the FDs were worth Rs. 427 crore.
During the three-day Ram Navami festival, over two lakh devotees from different parts of the country offered prayers at the shrine here. Of them 1.5 lakh devotees enjoyed free meal at the prasadalaya from another Rs. 23 lakh donated by devotees. The sansthan sold 1.30 lakh ‘ladu’ packets at sale counters during the festival, he said.
At least one lakh devotees from various states carrying Saibaba palanquins reached Shirdi after foot march and offered prayers at the temple here during the event, he added.