Sunday June 24, 2018

All prepared for new season of Sabarimala festival

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Sabarimala: All arrangements are ready for the beginning of the two-month Sabarimala temple festive season, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Saturday.

Chandy told IANS that he was at the pilgrim centre a few days ago to review the arrangements and felt happy with what was being organised for this season.

“We have spent Rs.62 crores in the past few months for increasing the facilities for the smooth pilgrimage. A new parking facility has been created for over 4,000 vehicles. A new waste treatment plant has also been commissioned,” he said.

Chandy pointed out that the temple receives more non-Keralites than Keralites during the two months and for that the government has allotted five acres of land to each of the south Indian states.

“Karnataka has already taken possession of the land while Telangana will sign the agreement soon, while the other two states Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are expected to do it shortly,” Chandy said.

He said these states would have the freedom to build guest houses and post their officials.

“Through this arrangement, we expect that people from these south Indian states will get better facilities and service from their own officials,” Chandy added.

The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple opens its doors on Monday evening, signalling the commencement of welcoming devotees from early Tuesday. It coincides with the first day of the Malayalam month of “Vrishickam”.

Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.

The practice among many pilgrims before setting off for the holy shrine is to undertakes an intense 41-day penance where they do not wear sandals, wear a black dhoti and eat only vegetarian food.

Each pilgrim carries a kit (lrumudi) that contains coconuts broken just before climbing the 18 steps. A pilgrim carries it on his head during the pilgrimage and without it, nobody is allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.

(IANS)

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month

Programme enables person who joins to complete every process online

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month
A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month, flickr

The Kerala government’s dream programme to raise money from its diaspora through “chitties”, or a chit fund scheme launched by state-run Kerala State Financial Enterprise (KSFE), will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in UAE next month, Finance Minister Thomas Issac said on Monday.

In an interaction with editors of the Kerala media, he said all the requisite permissions have been obtained from all authorities.

“This programme was initiated by the previous UDF government and the permission to go ahead came at its fag end. After we came to power, we took this forward and all permissions and sanctions are ready and all those diaspora who wish to participate in it can join,” said Issac.

“On June 12, Vijayan will launch the registration process and all those who wish to enter the scheme can register in the KSFE site. Once Vijayan launches the programme in UAE, next month, the chitty scheme will be open,” he added.

Coins
Coins, Pixabay

KSFE Chairman Philipose Thomas said to start with, those who wish to participate can contribute monthly as low as Rs 3,000 to a high of Rs 25,000.

“The duration of the chitty given the nature of the job scenario in the Middle East is kept from a minimum of 30 months to a maximum of 60 months. Once a diaspora member joins he can pay the monthly contribution through his non-resident ordinary account and at the end of the chitty term, the payment will be made to his non-resident ordinary account,” he said.

“The programme enables each person who joins the chitty to complete every process online, which includes even bidding, and at the end of the period, the money will be credited into their bank account. Every aspect of the online process has been tested,” said Unni Krishnan who heads the technology division of the chitty scheme.

The entire programme is being handled by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, a government-owned financial institution meant to mobilize funds for infrastructure development outside state revenue.

Its Chief Executive K.M. Abraham, who is a former state Chief Secretary, said that no one needs to donate anything, but only to join a chitty where the money collected will be deposited in bonds and used for the state’s development needs.

“At the end of the chitty, it’s a win-win situation for both the person who joined the chitty and for the state government,” he added.

Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi
Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi, flickr

Also read: Reliance home finance celebrates 46 growth in income

According to the latest study report on the diaspora, 90 per cent of 23.63 lakh Keralites aboard are in the various Middle East countries, of which UAE accounts for 38.7 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia with 25.2 per cent. (IANS)