SHIRDI’S “PAID DARSHAN” CONCEPT
VIP PASS CHARGES FOR SAI BABA’S DARSHAN
Saturday, March 06th` 2010
On a Regular day, over One lakh people visit the Shrine of Sai Baba in Shirdi.
On Holidays and Weekends, the number goes up to Five lakh, and during Festivals it exceeds Eight lakhs.
The Number of Pilgrims visiting the Shrine has been going up in the last Five years
and, likewise there is also a growing demand for VIP Darshan from Ministers, Political leaders, Government officers and Celebrities.
The Trust gets thousands of requests for VIP Darshans every day.
It is estimated that every VIP visit holds the Queue for at least 15-20 minutes – not a pleasant experience for Pilgrims,
some of whom wait for Five to Six hours before getting close to the Saint’s Samadhi.
VIP Darshans at the popular Shrine has been a contentious issue because devotees regularly faced inconvenience when
their queues were stopped to enable politicians and other bigwigs to offer their Prayers first.
So, on Wednesday, 27th Jan`2010, the Shirdi Sai Sansthan Trust had held a meeting at the Mantralaya`Mumbai,
in which it had decided to Ban the VIP Darshan Pass system during Week Days and introduce the concept of Paid Darshan,
by which devotees could jump over the Regular Darshan Queue, by paying a Fee.
And, to arrive at a consensus on the Fees to finally be charged for VIP Darshan,
the Shirdi Sai Sansthan Trustees Board held a meeting on Saturday, March 06th`2010.
Presided by the Chairman of Trustee Board Shri.Jayant Sasane,
the Sansthan finally arrived at a decision to charge the visiting VIP’s for Baba’s Darshan,
in-accordance to the Time of the Darshan asked for.
1) For Kakad Aarti : Rs.500/- per person.
2) For Madhyana Aarti : Rs.300/- per person.
3) For Dhoop Aarti : Rs.300/- per person.
4) For Shej Aarti : Rs.300/- per person.
5) For Normal Darshan (Not during any of the Aarti’s) : Rs.100/- per person.
~~ HIGHLIGHTS OF PAID DARSHAN SYSTEM ~~
1) This system of Paid Darshan will commence from Saturday, March 13th`2010.
2) Paid Darshan Concept will be applicable every Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday’s & Festivals
like Ram-Navami, Gudi-Padwa, Gurupurnima and Vijaya-Dashmi.
3) The Total number of Devotees which can accommodated in the Temple is 1600,
so the Paid Passes Limit for Aarti’s has been fixed at 140.
4) Darshan passes will be made available on charges to the devotees in advance and no prior booking will be made of such passes.
5) Even Member of Parliaments, Members of Legislature, Celebrities and Journalists are not spared from these charges.
PREREQUISITE - TO AVAIL THE PAID DARSHAN PASS, ONE HAS TO HAVE A REFERENCE LETTER REQUESTING FOR THE SAME.
(As was before, for the VIP pass, only this time one has to show the reference letter and PAY for the pass.)
Source -Sahara Samay Mumbai / DNA