Published: 20th May 2018
Simhachalam temple in Visakhapatnam to teach poor students scriptures, music for free
For around 50 years, the Simhachalam temple has been offering services in the field of education through its Veda, Aagama, Naada and Sanskrit schools and hostels
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam (SVLND) at Simhachalam will set up an educational charitable trust under the name of 'Simhachalam Vidyaadaan Trust' to encourage the poor and meritorious students to study Vedas/ancient scriptures along with musical instruments like naadaswaram and dolu by providing free training.
As the Devasthanam is already doing some service in these fields through 'Veda Aagama Naada Paathasaala', providing free boarding and lodging, the Devasthanam hereditary trustee and former Central minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju directed the officials to extend the footprint of the charitable service. With this, the Devasthanam authorities are planning to go ahead with the project.
For around 50 years, the Simhachalam temple has been offering services in the field of education through its Veda, Aagama, Naada and Sanskrit schools and hostels. The temple spends around Rs 1.20 crore per annum on the educational institutions. Late PVG Raju, the father of Ashok Gajapathi Raju started funding these educational institutions, including the Viziangaram Maharaja Music College and Hostel for the poor students 50 years ago. Later, some of these were included in the financial plan of the MANSAS Trust. With the donations given by the Vizianagaram Maharajas, the Devasthanam manages the Veda, Aagama Naada School and Sanskrit upper primary school and the hostels for the poor students at Vizianagaram.
The Paathasaala offers high school-level education in Vedic studies, Aagama sastra and in instrumental music (naadaswaram and dolu). At present, it has 81 seats and the Devasthanam authorities are thinking in terms of increasing its strength. Students from Brahmin-Sri Vaishnava sect are eligible to join the Veda, Aagama school after the completion of fifth standard studies. Naayi Brahmin students, who have completed the fifth standard are eligible to join the Naada School to learn playing naadaswaram and dolu instruments. The temple provides free boarding, lodging, and free education. In addition, they supply musical instruments and Rs 1,000 scholarship to all students. For this year, the admission notification has been issued.
Similarly, the Sanskrit High School has students from sixth to 10th standard, with a total strength of 185 students. Among these 185, the Devasthanam provides hostel facility to 50 poor students. The SVLND students' hostel at Vizianagaram accommodates around 350 students, who study in the Mansas institutions and their entire expenditure is borne by the Devasthanam.
"As per the suggestions and directives of Ashok Gajapathi Raju, we are planning to expand our educational services. Since we are already providing various educational services to the poor students, it is easy for us to extend these provisions to more number of students. By establishing a Vidyaadaan Trust, it will be easy to channelise the donations offered by the devotees. Very soon we will shift the Aagama Paathasaala to new premises and a new Veda Paathasaala will be established," said K Ramachandra Mohan, the executive officer (EO) of the Simhachalam Devasthanam.