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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 23:

In the first of its kind initiative in the state, JSPL Foundation felicitated 155 grassroots level functionaries dedicated in services of Shree Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri today at Jayadev Bhawan here.

These grassroots level functionaries were felicitated and given a cash award of Rs. 10,000 for their dedicated service in supporting the management of Shree Mandir and ensuring cleanliness of the temple and safety of devotees.

The Award was presented in the gracious presence of Guruji Srimad Budha Bapa, President of Lalit Kala Akademi Padma Vibhushan Dr. Raghunath Mohapatra and the President of JSPL Foundation Shallu Jindal. Out of 155 functionaries, 91 are from Jagannath Temple Police, 31 persons are sanitation workers or swachh karmis and the remaining 33 persons are servitors of the temple.

Introducing this noble initiative, Shallu Jindal said, “Odisha is fortunate to house the divine abode of Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the universe. These individuals have dedicated their lives in the services of Lord Jagannath and his devotees by supporting the temple administration in maintaining the cleanliness or discipline inside and outside of the temple and facilitating millions of devotees for Darshan to the Lord. Their dedication and devotion surely needs applause and appreciation. JSPL Foundation is very happy to honour contribution of these grassroots level functionaries.”

Dr. Raghunath Mohapatra appreciated Jindal for her concern to serve the grassroots level functionaries. “I am very happy that JSPL Foundation and its president Jindal is always forthcoming to connect her with the devotees and grassroots functionaries associated with Lord Jagannath. Her initiative in Odisha are unique and appreciated by the people of Odisha,” he said.

The list of functionaries, who were felicitated today were selected with support from Dr. Raghunath Mohapatra Art & Craft Foundation.

All the awardees are engaged in different services in Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri. The servitors provide hand holding services to devotees for a glimpse of the Lord. The Jagannath Temple Police (JTP) maintains discipline inside the Temple ensuring serenity and spiritual tranquility. The Temple Swachh Karmis/Sanitaion Karmis are engaged in one of the holiest services in the Temple. They always present a clean and tidy temple premises for the thousands of devotees thronging from the nooks and corners of the country every hour.

With his words of blessings to the initiatives of JSPL Foundation and Shallu Jindal, Guruji Srimad Budha Bapa said, “Lord Jagannath is the heart and soul of millions of people. Any service rendered to the service providers of Jagannath Temple is service to the mankind.”

Secretary of JSPL Foundation Prashant Kumar Hota, in his vote of thanks, expressed his gratitude to the awardees, who have come all the way from Puri to make this initiative fruitful. He also thanked the Temple Management, Dr. Raghunath Mohapatra Art & Craft Foundation, RAWA Academy and volunteers Ramachandra Baral and Jitendra Pradhan for their continuous support in this noble initiative.

Last year JSPL Foundation has conferred the prestigious Swayam Siddha Samman upon the Ratha Shilpis who are instrumental in construction of the Lord’s new chariot every year in a record time of 59 days.

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