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Welfare measures announced for Jagannath temple priests

“Battery run environment friendly cars will be commissioned soon which will ferry elderly people and persons with disability from the vehicle parking space to the Jagannath temple at regular interval,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after reviewing progress made ahead of the Lord’s Nabakalebara festival in July this year.

Stating that the priests are integral parts of the Temple, the chief minister said a model public school would be established at Puri. The school will provide free education to children of ‘Sevayats’ (Priests), Patnaik said.

Besides the regular curriculum, Patnaik said the school would provide courses on Vedic education. About 10 acres of land has been identified at Motitota for establishment of the school.

“The students of sevayat community will be provided scholarship ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 500 per month from class-I to Class-X. For students pursuing their technical education, a sum of Rs 25,000 will be given as scholarship,” Patnaik said.

It has also been decided to provide insurance cover to 8900 members of 1930 sevayat families, Patnaik said adding that the insurance cover would be up to Rs 2 lakh for seven members of a family for which Rs 60 lakh would be incurred as annual premium.

In its bid to solve the housing problems of Sri Jagannth Temple priets, the chief minister announced a special scheme for the Sevayat commuity. “The government will provide houses to landess and homestead less sevayats for which five acres of land have been identified,” Patnaik said.

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