Devotees seeking a dip in the River Ganges in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, have been permitted to make digitized donations during “Ganga Aarti” to overcome the existing cash crunch. Ganga Sewa Samiti, a non-government organisation, which has been spearheading a campaign to clean the river, with the help of Mobikwik, an application offering e-wallet systems, has launched an initiative where they accept online payments as donation.
“After demonetisation, there was some trouble. Therefore, to give some relief to the devotees, the Ganga Sewa Nidhi started the online payment system. You can make donations with the help of Mobikwik app banners with barcodes on it,” said Sushant Mishra, the president of the institution.
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This has given relief to tourists and devotees who were finding it difficult to pay. “We were hoping to give donations in cash, but due to the cash crunch we were not able to do so. Today, we paid Rs. 1100 via online transaction,” said AP Mishra, a devotee.
The NGO’s decision to go cashless will check those making donations in old currency notes. The government’s move to demonetise has severely affected the functioning of religious institutions. But now, most are accepting digitised donations.