December 30, 2002  

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Jayan, Arun, Aji, Akhil and Sreejan, Velithuruthu Village, Chavara, Kollam

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So many are the diversions available to teenagers.  One would think that making temples would be the least appealing among these.

Not for the 5 friends of Velithuruthu Village, Chavara, Kollam.  What they started 3 years ago as a model temple for Lord Shiva has now gained appreciation from adults and is on the way to becoming a concrete reality soon.  But when students of High School, Guhananda Puram, Jayan (16), Arun (14), Aji (13), Akhil (12) and Sreejan (12) built a makeshift temple 3 years ago during their summer vacation, the reaction that awaited them from their families was one of opprobrium.  When the young devotees refused to dismantle the temple, their families did it.  Undaunted they constructed a thatched mini temple in the land belonging to the Neendakara Panchayat on the same day. 

When things reached that stage, even the villagers opposed the temple.  But still the young priests were unmoved.  With Jayan, a Dalit, as the head priest, the worship went on. 

But based on a ‘Devaprasna’ the villagers rallied behind the model temple of teenagers.  The temple committee of adults has purchased 4 cents of land and construction is in progress with expert craftsmen from Tamil Nadu.  The construction of new temple is estimated to cost Rs. 3,00,000, says Raghu, Deputy Manager, Indian Overseas Bank and Secretary of the committee.

In the meanwhile worship goes on at the temporary temple.  And the priests are the young ones only. Already 10 marriages have been solemnized in the temple with the teenagers as priests.

Young priests conducting puja at the temporary temple


Courtesy: P.Anil Kumar, Mathrubhumi, November 21, 2002

Contributed by: Administrator


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