Siddhivinayak Temple opens demat account, will accept ‘shares’ as donations
In keeping with the times, Prabhadevi’s Siddhivinayak Temple is set to start accepting ‘shares’ as donations. The shrine’s trust, which is among the wealthiest in the country, has opened a demat account with the help of which devotees can donate shares of listed companies.
With lakhs of followers, the trustees expect the income of the shrine to double with with introduction of this new mode of offering donations. They also expect the donations from NRIs to increase significantly.
Narendra Rane, chairman of the Siddhivinayak temple trust told TOI, “Scores of businessmen who are devotees of Lord Ganesh promise to donate shares to the temple once their wishes are fulfilled. Just like most people make a mannat (oath) to give money or gold, these devotees make a mannat to donate shares if the value of their stock rises. In fact, some of them purchase a few shares especially for donation. They offer it to the deity as an auspicious beginning to their business transactions.”
Rane also clarified that the trust will not trade in shares. Instead, they will simply convert them into cash every other day and deposit the money in their savings account. The money will be used their educational and healthcare charity projects.
The trust has reportedly opened a demat account under the Government’s Central Depository Services Ltd (CDSL) venture through SBICAP Securities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets. Initially, devotees will be able to donate shares of listed entities. Later, the mode will be extended to other financial instruments like bonds, mutual funds etc.
Moreover, since the shares will directly be transferred to the temple’s account, devotees won’t have to go through the hassle of handing over physical share certificates.
The idea of opening a demat account to accept donations was first tried out by Tirupati temple in 2015. Since then, the temple has witnessed a considerable increase in donations.