Sunday, November 27, 2016

Religious Institutions embracing Digital Payments – The positive effect of Demonetisation

          One of the major effects of Demonetisation in India has been on the Religious Institutions. In the last few years, major Temples and other religious institutions have enabled online donations on their websites. However, the same is not so in the physical premises. Cash Collection boxes/Hundis are still the primary collection mode. Minimal effort has been made to convert these cash modes to digital modes.

          However, Demonetisation has forced these religious institutions to relook at their collection mode.

          A beginning has been made, however a long way.

          The number of devotees swells on special days at religious places. Apart from permanent structures, devotees also look forward to fairs to be part of religious functions.

          Fairs are temporary structures where a large number of devotees cogenerate.   There are opportunities for digital transactions at fairs, but difficult to implement because of the floating populace.

          Major religious institutions have an immediate catchment area of 500  metres  i.e shops around the religious institution.

          The following are the major religions practiced in India. Any omission is unintentional.

Hinduism – 10 Amazing Hindu Temples
Islam – 10 Most Popular Mosques in India
Christians –  Top 20 Most Astonishing and Stunning Churches of India
Buddhism –  10 Famous Buddhist Temples
Jainism – 7 Amazing Jain Temples
Sikhism –  Top 15 Famous and Must Visit Gurdwaras in India
Zoroastrianism - Fire temple

          Like all institutions, Religious Institutions too have Income and Expenditure

Main source of Incomes:
a)     Online Donations through links on Websites
b)    Collection Boxes/Hundis for physical cash donations
c)     Donations for special projects through Cheques or Cash – Online donation in this area is still in nascent stage
d)    Government funds
e)    Rents from properties

Main Expenditure needs:
a)     Daily maintenance needs
b)    Salaries
c)     Special Projects

Few articles on Demonetisation effect on Religious Institutions in India::
01)  This Kerala priest has an E-way to combat currency troubles

02)  This Church In Kerala Opened Its Donation Box

03)  Hit by Demonetisation, Delhi Temples Go Paytm Way

04)  Demonetisation: Temples now embracing latest modes for donations

05)  After Demonetisation Jain Temples In Mumbai

06)  Demonetisation: Temples Turn Richer With 'Sin'

07)  Kazipet Dargah Urs from today

08)  With no jobs, hungry daily wagers turn to langar halls

Extract from Religion, Census of India 2001
   At the census 2001, out of 1028 million population, little over 827 million (80.5%) have returned themselves as followers of Hindu religion, 138 million (13.4%) as Muslims or the followers of Islam, 24 million (2.3%) as Christians, 19 million (1.9%) as Sikh, 8 million (0.80%) as Buddhists and 4 million (0.4%) are Jain. In addition, over 6 million have reported professing other religions and faiths including tribal religions, different from six main religions.
    Hinduism is professed by the majority of population in India. The Hindus are most numerous in 27 states/Uts except in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab.
   The Muslims professing Islam are in majority in Lakshadweep and Jammu & Kashmir. The percentage of Muslims is sizeable in Assam (30.9%), West Bengal (25.2%), Kerala (24.7%), Uttar Pradesh (18.5%) and Bihar (16.5%).
    Christianity has emerged as the major religion in three North-eastern states, namely, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya. Among other states/Uts, Manipur (34.0%), Goa (26.7%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (21.7%), Kerala (19.0%), and Arunachal Pradesh (18.7%) have considerable percentage of Christian population to the total population of the State/UT.
    Punjab is the stronghold of Sikhism. The Sikh population of Punjab accounts for more than 75 % of the total Sikh population in the country. Chandigarh (16.1%), Haryana (5.5%), Delhi (4.0%), Uttaranchal (2.5%) and Jammu & Kashmir (2.0%) are other important States/Uts having Sikh population. These six states/Uts together account for nearly 90 percent Sikh population in the country.
   The largest concentration of Buddhism is in Maharashtra (58.3%), where (73.4%) of the total Buddhists in India reside. Karnataka (3.9 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (3.0 lakh), west Bengal (2.4 lakh) and Madhya Pradesh (2.0 lakh) are other states having large Buddhist population. Sikkim (28.1%), Arunachal Pradesh (13.0%) and Mizoram (7.9 %) have emerged as top three states in terms of having maximum percentage of Buddhist population.
   Maharashtra, Rajsthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have reported major Jain population. These states/Uts together account for nearly 90 percent of the total Jain population in the country. The percentage of Jain population to the total population is maximum in Maharastra (1.3%), Rajsthan (1.2%), Delhi (1.1%) and Gujrat (1.0%). Elsewhere in the country their proportion in negligible.