Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams has relaunched its program to train youths from backward castes for priesthood, the TTD trust said in a news release. The week long program, which aims at training and initiating Dalits in to priesthood was inaugurated in Sri Venkateswara Employees’ Training Academy (SVETA), in Tirupati on Saturday.
The trust, in last September, had launched a three-months priesthood certificate program, marking a clear departure from tradition, to train 100 youths each from dalit communities in Chittoor and West Godavari districts. The students were trained in smartha traditions, which deals with performing common rituals in families and other general festive rituals.
As part of the current training program, TTD will train 68 persons belonging SC-ST castes and fishermen communities of Visakhapatnam, West and East Godavaris, Anantapur and Khammam districts of both the Telugu speaking states.
TTD Trust Board Chairman Dr Ch Krishnamurthy and TTD EO Dr D Sambasiva Rao inaugurated the program. Krishnamurthy called upon the selected trainees to learn the Puja Vidhi with devotion and implement the same in their respective hamlets and stand as role model to others in their villages.
CERTIFICATE COURSE IS ALSO ON THE ANVIL
Although the current program is just a week-long, Tirupati JEO P Bhaskar said that TTD is planning to introduce a three month or six-month certificate course for the same to trainees. “Our intention is to train you Perfectly in priesthood and for this purpose a mere week long training will not serve. We are planning to introduce a certificate course,” Bhaskar said.
About 68 trainees including 34 from fishermen community, 19 from SC and 15 from ST colonies took part in this training program.