Devotees of Saibaba have donated over Rs 4 crore to Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) during the just-concluded four-day Dussehra festival at the famous shrine in Shirdi. According to the trust office bearers, a total of Rs 4.43 crore was collected at different cash-boxes, cash-counters and online counter of the trust during the festival between October 10-13.
The occasion also marked Shri Saibaba’s 98th death anniversary and at least three lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country and abroad visited the shrine, trust’s executive officer Bajirao Shinde said.
He said Rs 1.93 crore was collected through cash boxes, Rs 93.86 lakh were donated at SSST’s cash-counters, while Rs 26.25 lakh was received online. The trust also received money worth Rs 7.22 lakh from 17 countries across the world, Shinde added.
They have also received a gold crown weighing 748 grams from an Australia-based NRI. With collection of gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 23.49 crore, the trust now has 364 kgs of gold worth Rs 67 crores, he said.
During the four-day period, devotees have also donated Rs 67.38 lakh for Saibaba’s ‘prasadalaya’ under which free meals are offered to the pilgrims. Besides this, other items worth Rs 27 lakh were also collected.