For the first time in Tamil Nadu three women Ranjitha, Krishnaveni and Ramya, have qualified to become temple priests in government managed temples . They will undergo training in temples before being assigned jobs relating to priestly duties. Normally in Hindu tradition only brahmin male become temple priests.
S Ramya an MSc graduate and her relative Krishnaveni ,an undergraduate in Mathematics joined the course as they wanted to serve god .Ranjitha is a BSc graduate who joined the course out of interest.
Ranjitha, Krishnaveni and Ramya, completed the one year course offered at the State government-run ‘Archakar Payirchi Palli’ (School for Priests’ Training) in SriRangam, Tamil Nadu.
The ‘Archakar Payirchi Palli’ (School for Priests’ Training) school is run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the state government.The department runs six priest training schools where people from all castes can take the training to be priests.
Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin said the Dravidian model government made it possible at a time when women are deemed impure and are not even allowed in the temples of female deities.
Under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act,1959, the state government has the power to manage Hindu temples.The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department of the state government manages around 44,000 temples in the state. It also runs various schools to train priests.
SriRangam is a famous religious place in Tiruchirappalli ,Tamil Nadu where there is one of the largest temple complexes of India ,Ranganathaswamy Temple .The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also considered to be the world’s largest functioning Hindu temple .