Even the deities are facing the brunt of climate change; after the idols wore pollution masks in Varanasi due to degrading air quality, now, one of the richest shrines of the world is going plastic free. Tirupati Lord Venkateswara is adopting an environment-friendly packaging material for packaging and distribution of the prasadam to devotees.
According to reports, Tirupati temple gets an annual donation of Rs 650 crore, and alone makes $11 million dollars from selling laddoos. But those 3.5-4 lakh laddoos were sold in plastic packaging until now. So to go green, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the trust that manages the temple, has joined hands with the Aditya Birla Group company Hindalco and Jute Corporation of India (JCI) to roll out a pilot project concerning the distribution of prasadam in 100% reusable bags
These bags are made of jute and reportedly, Hindalco and JCI have already applied for a patent for the process of aluminium foil lamination of jute. For past few months, they have sold around 3 lakh bags. JCI has also opened a ‘prasadam distribution centre’ for sale of these bags, so that more people adopt this practice and start using jute bags. According to sources, JCI Chairman and managing director Ajay Kumar Jolly pointed out that the green initiative is not only good for the environment but will also provide employment to thousands of artisans in and around Tirupati, Telangana and Kolkata.
Tirumala is currently the source point for the distribution of tens of thousands of plastic covers a day to devotees. The shift to paper box, once initiated, will make Tirupati a plastic-free city in its true sense.