This is a rather odd post on BESTpedia, but nevertheless, a rather offbeat topic that deserves a mention.
As a precursor to this post, I’d highly recommend reading this article to get a good understanding of Temples and their relevance in India: The Temple As Infrastructure
Trimax IT, the company that successfully set up India’s most advanced Electronic Ticket System for buses in India, as well as some of of the Intelligent Transit Systems, has something known as the Trimax Temple Management System (TTMS).
Now what exactly is this Temple Management System? As the name suggests, it is a framework set up to manage a temple. Why a temple? In India, where each village has atleast one, if not two temples, managing these temples become a herculean task. Temples, big or small, due to their nature, receive a vast number of visitors, and often, managing all the tasks, from the pujas to the archanas to the donations require a large amount of management. In smaller temples, manpower is normally not an issue due to small crowds, and hence all this can be done by one person, or at the most, a handful of them. However, in large temples, where thousands of people visit on each day, it would be a herculean task.
So what all is involved in managing a temple?
Let’s try and list out what all are involved; and figure out how it is handled.
- Accounts: All temples receive money; donations, puja costs, miscellaneous costs. Accounts need to be maintained.
- Expenditures: Expenses from production of prasad to salaries of the priests are included here.
- Government relations: No temple can function without support from the government.
- Safety: A temple must take the safety of devotees seriously.
- Security: Temples are often targets for terror attacks.
- Recording Special Functions
Now, how do all these fit into a temple management system, and if done manually, how would it work?
A temple would need to hire a bunch of people for each role: Accounts, audits, government relations, et al.
Back in 2008, I cam across this software package called HOMA – Hindu Temple Online Management System. HOMA was designed by a company called Ventech, which was started by a group of Indian-origin engineers to run Temples in the United States. HOMA, among other things, has profiles for various people like board members, priests and devotees.
Now, to Trimax, which has implemented the system in the Siddhivinayak Temple in Bombay. The system is quite advanced, and, like the ticketing system of BEST, it includes a prepaid ‘Aashirwad Card’. Trimax also set up an online portal for performing Pooja. Now this isn’t the first time, an online portal has existed for Pooja, I have heard of, and my family has used ePrarthana before, and I know the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams have an online booking system as well.
However, Trimax, as part of its deal, seems to have done a lot more:
- An online portal.
- A prepaid card.
- Security systems, safety mechanisms, including Fire safety.
- Live Streaming of Darshans!
Temples are an important part of our economy, and thus, managing a temple in such a manner, is indeed remarkable. I am waiting for more Indian firms to invest in temple management systems.
Till then, I quote a friend of mine: Siddhivinayaka is the mouse-wielding tech savvy lord.
Post this; I’d suggest a reading this article by R Jagannathan on why Temples need Smart Entrepreneurship.
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