DHUBRI, Aug 23 - Western Assam and northern Bengal, that house some of the most important satras of the Vaishnavites, are currently facing innumerable financial issues amid the lockdown.
There are about six satras in Dhubri district and eight satras in northern west Bengal, that include the historic Ramraikuti Satra, Madhupur Satra, Jinkata Satra and Ajohua Satra, Haripur Madhupur Satra and Morisbari Satra, to name a few.
However, due to the prolonged lockdown, very few devotees are visiting them, due to which they have received very minimal donations, making it hard for their managements to meet their daily expenses.
The president of the Assam Satra Mahasabha, Jitendranath Prodhani said that the satras all over Assam and Bengal are facing financial difficulties due to the ongoing lockdown and restricted travelling.
�However, all the satras in these parts of the State and in North Bengal depend primarily on donations by the devotees, specially the devotees that come from different parts of the State,� said Prodhani.
He also added that although a few satras get government aid, it�s too low. �Like Ramraikuti Satra, which gets a government aid of around Rs 4,395 per annum, which is also pending since the last eight years. And this satra has a daily expense of at least Rs 1,000/-�, added the president of the Satra Mahasabha.
He added that due to the limited income, the satras have to face innumerable issues.�
�Although in a very small way, the daily religious activities are to be carried on and for that too we have an expense�, said Prodhani, �Most of the satras are meeting these expenses with the help of local well-wishers. But for how long?�
�Moreover, each satra has four to five people engaged with it, which includes bhakats, pujaris and helpers. They survive on the expenses of the satras only�, said Prodhani.
The president of Assam Satra Mahasabha therefore urged the government to come forward in the interest of all the satras at the earliest possible so that they can meet their expenses till the situation normalises.