After over three and a half decades, foreign-based followers of Sikhism will now be able to credit donations or ‘daswandh’ (one tenth of income) directly in a dedicated account of the Golden Temple after the Union government registered Sri Harmandir Sahib under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, (FCRA) 2010.
“After 1984, foreign based sangat was restricted from directly sending donations to the Golden Temple account. Now, after the FCRA registration they will be able to fulfil their religious aspirations,” SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said here on Thursday. The Golden Temple management had applied for FCRA registration on May 27. The Union ministry approved the registration on September 9.
Longowal said after 1984, foreign based sangat had to find alternative ways of sending donations or daswandh to the Golden Temple.
“Many devotees used to send donations for langar, propagation of Sikhism or welfare work through their relatives or friends visiting Amritsar.” he said.
Union home minister Amit Shah tweeted “Sri Darbar Sahib’s divinity gives strength to us. For decades, the Sangat worldwide was unable to serve there. Modi Government’s decision to allow FCRA to the Sri Harmandir Sahib deepens the connect of Seva between the Sangat globally and the Sri Darbar Sahib. A blessed moment!”
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Union minister for civil aviation and housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted “Service to humanity is a pivotal pillar of Sikhism. Deeply grateful to PM @narendramodi ji & HM @AmitShahJi for allowing Sikh Sangat around the world to contribute to Sewa at Sri Darbar Sahib through FCRA. Request was received on 27 May. Authorisation issued on 9 Sept 2020”.
On Wednesday late evening, Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had broken the news with her tweet saying “Happy to share that MHA has granted approval under FCRA to Sri Harmandir Sahib. This will enable the shrine to receive ‘sewa’ from all over the world & go a long way in propagating Gurusahab’s philosophy of ‘sarbat da bhala’. I’m grateful to @AmitShah Ji for making this possible”.