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Tirupati Temple Officials Wield Brooms As Cleaners Go On Strike Over Pay

Tirupati Temple Officials Wield Brooms As Cleaners Go On Strike Over Pay

The drive is expected to take place every month.

Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh:

The officials at Andhra Pradesh’s famous Tirupati temple today wielded brooms instead of pens, a week after nearly a thousand sanitation workers went on a flash strike without notice over alleged pay discrepancy.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials embarked on a cleanliness drive and were joined by the district collector.

The temple trust would never yield to such “blackmailing” tactics, said AV Dharma Reddy, Executive Officer (EO) of TTD, which oversees the management of one of the richest temples of the world.

Instead, a cleanliness drive, ‘Sundara Tirumala-Suddha Tirumala‘ (Beautiful Tirumala, Pure Tirumala) will be taken up every month, he said.

Mr Reddy said the strong workforce of TTD, whose head is appointed by the government, will help keep the environs of the temple town clean, green, and hygienic for the visiting devotees.

The sanitation workers, who went on strike last week, alleged that their contracting agency had promised to pay them Rs 11,000 per month, but they were getting only Rs 9,000.

The agency had proposed to further cut down their wages to Rs 8,000, claimed the aggrieved workers, who chose to go ahead with the strike despite the temple trust warning them of action citing a ban on strikes under TTD rules.

At this impasse, Mr Reddy came up with the idea of cleanliness drives with TTD employees under the slogan ‘Sundara Tirumala-Suddha Tirumala‘.

The first such drive was conducted today in Tirumala, which saw the participation of the trust’s executive officer, junior executive officers, and the district collector.

Addressing the TTD staff and Srivari Sevaks (temple volunteers) deputed to perform the drive, Mr Reddy said, “Be it officers, or employees, or sanitary staff, all our salaries are being paid by the offerings in Srivari Hundi made by the devotees coming from different parts of the world. Everyone should keep in mind that devotees and pilgrims are our “pratyaksha daivam” (visible divine) and it becomes our foremost responsibility to serve them with dedication.”

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