On Gurupurav, the birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru Guru Nanak Dev, gurdwara managements accepted the now-invalid currency notes but with a rider: they won’t give receipts. Instead, they requested people to put notes in the golak (offering box). Normally, a receipt is issued for donations to ensure transparency in the functioning of the management.
In Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara Model Town a notice in Punjabi read: “Gurudwara Sahib Vikhe 500/1000 rupay de notan di raseed nahin diti ja sakdi, kirpa karke uprokat note golak vich paye jaan ji (We cannot give receipts for Rs 500/1000, so kindly put such notes in the golak).” The notice was undersigned by the manager of the gurudwara.
“We cannot issue receipts against demonetised currency as it would be difficult for us to get it replaced,” said a senior employee of gurdwara, requesting anonymity. He said the money in the golak was “a secret donation”. He added that the golak was not opened daily and it may already contain notes prior to demonetisation. A few devotees The Indian Express spoke to said they were pushed into donating to the golak.
“I wanted to donate Rs 5,000 but I did not have any of the new notes so I went with the old notes. The gurdwara management refused to give a receipt and asked me to put the same in the golak which I did,” said Manit Kaur of Model Town area.
In another Gurudwara in rural Jalandhar, donations were made in dollars. “In our village NRIs were being pressed to donate in dollars,” said a resident of Kathar.