Nellore: Purohits turn tech-savvy to beat Corona blues
A majority are now performing rituals using video call
Nellore: COVID-19 has impacted the lives of Purohits dearly for the past four months. But the pandemic has made them tech-savvy to perform various rituals online. Now, if the people contact any Purohit for any occasion, they are simply asking them to pay the charges online and perform the process over a video call.
The situation of COVID has flattened the livelihood of Purohits as temples were closed, public functions were banned and finally they had to confine to the homes depending on the alms of the generous population during the lockdown. Many Purohits were not supported either by the government or covered by any government welfare programme.
Very few temples registered with the endowment department and the Purohits were provided some honorarium from the government. Other people, who rely on earning through performing various rituals and pujas, faced severe situation during the lockdown. They still don't have an adequate livelihood in rural and semi-urban areas due to limited opportunities and no proper understanding of utilizing the technology.
"We planned a ceremony at home last month and contacted a local Purohit for performing it. He said they are not physically attending the functions. Some people are saying even though they conduct the programme they don't like to have anything at the venue.
So, we are asking them to complete it through video call sitting at their home. We also feel happy that strangers are not entering the house, still, we are able to complete the activity," happily said N Ranga Rao from the AC Nagar area.
Even well-educated in Vedic studies are also available online for conducting the rituals. They fix the programme based on Muhurtam, communicate what prerequisites are to get ready, and complete the activity as scheduled. Money is being transferred and both customers and Purohits are feeling happy.
"This is a hassle-free process. As soon as we enter a house, people think that we must be isolated as we wander in the city visiting many houses for performing rituals. The online activity rules out such suspicions and both parties are safe when physical presence is avoided. The guidelines of the government are also insisting safety of the people," said R Durga Mahesh from Tirupati who completed a full-time Yajurveda course.
He added that they are performing functions across the state through virtual mode. Majority Purohits said they are getting inadequate income due to restrictions on marriages and other functions. A marriage gives them at least Rs 30,000-40,000. But, now, they are getting only small functions from which they are getting Rs 1,000-2,000 per programme, a Purohit lamented.
"Namakaranam, Annaprasana, Grihapravesam, Vratam, Homam, and other small functions are now available. Very few people are preferring marriages. We are getting little income for supporting the family needs. We expect the situation would change only with the vaccine or other medication," said Varanasi Kiran Kumar, a Purohit from the Vedayapalem area.
Interestingly, ceremonies that connected to post-death rituals are being avoided by majority Purohits. So, people are facing a difficult situation for conducting them. Mass activity in Mutts and other temples hasn't been allowed and people are facing problems for contacting Purohits where their physical presence is a must.