The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to scrap the trial run of Sampradaya Bhojanam (traditional meal) following criticism that the administration is trying to commercialise the food served to visiting devotees through the scheme.
“We have decided to scrap the project. The decision to introduce Sampradaya Bhojanam was taken in the absence of the Trust Board by officials,” TTD Trust Board chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy said.
Subba Reddy, speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Navaneeta seva marking the auspicious Sri Krishnastami, said officials took the decision to introduce traditional food with a good intention to promote desi cow products and organic and natural farming.
“However, any prasadam that is served to devotees in Tirumala should be free of cost and should not even be on a cost-to-cost basis,” he said and added he had asked the officials to immediately scrap the trial run.
The TTD on August 26 started the trial run to serve traditional food to promote desi cow products, organic and natural farming. The trial was scheduled to be held till September 2. However, there was widespread criticism that the TTD is trying to “sell the annaprasadam of Lord Venkateswara” prompting the TTD chairman to shelve the project at the trial run stage itself.
Meanwhile, Subba Reddy also said they would take a decision on commencing ‘sarva darshan’ (free darshan) after taking the views of the district administration and also medical and health department officials over the prevailing COVID situation.
Nitya Annadanam was introduced in order to ensure that every devotee visiting Tirumala doesn’t leave without filling their stomach. This has been a regular practise for several years. However, this advice came in bad taste. In fact, Jagan government’s decisions with respect to TTD and the Board have been criticised widely by people from across the country.