When I stirred the nest by appealing for an allocation of the small portion of income for restoring the heritage,the immediate query I received was rather genuine.The doubt raised was on the proper utilisation of funds for which the contributions were made.How to assess the genuineness of institutions or individuals who are vested with the contributions? I liked the question very much because it showed the anxiety to know whether the money is reaching the proper hands.Let me elaborate the point little further for the benefit of those who have similar doubts in their minds.
The approach may vary when we bring the institution/individual under the scanner.The foremost observation one would like to make is to know the track record of the past activity.
Recently I went to a small village known as Edamanal, near Sirkazhi to guide my old friend
My friend came with his brother from Bangalore and was busy in constructing a compound wall around the place.I knew that it was an ambitious project but then the brothers were very keen in completing it within a year.I did not ask them about their ways to mobilise the funds.But I believe that they have commensed the work as thier duty to follow the path shown by their father.In this case the funds are utilised by direct supervision.
When our Sabha was participating in the renovation of Thirukkachur temple,I personally supervised the work to see that the funds are utilised properly to our satisfaction.This would prevent possible shortcuts adopted by the workers and also avoid using substandard materials.
I was shocked to know that the Hundi collections of temples are not used for the respective temples.It is understood that the collections are deposited with the local banks to be transferred into the the Govt's treasury. Thus the devotees who believed that their contributions would be utilised for the temple of their choice are cheated.If I recommend giving in kind instead of cash,I am sure there will be few takers. As it is a matter of faith, deviation from the customary path will not take place.
At last I found an answer to why there can not be a single point of contact which is reliable.If you take the renovation work at Madurai which run into crores of rupees,the entire amount is shared among various donors.There are donors for all the 12 "kaala " yagasala pujas and mandalabhishekams.The HR&CE which takes over the entire collection from Hundi etc contributes negligible amount for this occasion.Hence I strongly recommend the donor to visit the site and supervise the work to be assured of the proper utilisation of funds.Naturally people feel that there could be spill overs if the fund is routed through an unfamiliar channel.
Before I conclude,let me share with you the good work done by a group from Vridhachalam.Their ambition is to build new temples at the birth place of each Nayanmar.I visited the recently built shrine for Thirumoola Nayanar at Saathanur,just 3 km from Aduthurai.They organise in such a way that somebody who resides closeby should inspect the site when the work is in progress.Apart from the sanctum,the temple has a meditation hall in which the paintings narrating the life of Thirumoolar are seen on the wall.This process derives confidence of the donors simultaneously when they visit the place during consecration and thereafter.