New Delhi: The Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) on Tuesday said that it had received Rs 287 crore in donation this year, more than what it had received last year.

Speaking to news agency IANS, SSST Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Deepak Muglikar said, “The donation in various forms between January 1 and December 31 is around Rs 287 crore. It has surpassed last year’s collection of Rs 285 crore.”

Of the Rs 287 crore amount, while Rs 217 crore have come through cash offerings and from collection counters, the remaining Rs 70 crore, which is around 33% of the total amount, is through non-cash modes like cheques, demand drafts, money orders, credit/debit cards, online transfers, foreign currencies etc., IANS quoted the official as saying.

Gold jewellery, coins and other valuables which weigh around 19 kg, as well as silver articles worth 391 kgs are among donations made to the temple trust. Giving further specifications, the official said that Rs 60.84 crore and Rs 156.49 crore came from cash counters and collection boxes respectively. Rs 10.58 crore came from foreign currencies.

“Cheques, money orders, credit/debit cards and online transfers contributed Rs 23.35 crore, Rs 2.17 crore, Rs 17.59 crore and Rs 16.02 crore respectively,” the official further said.

The year 2018 was celebrated as the centenary year of the Samadhi of Sai Baba, a wandering saint. In late 2017, a small airport was inaugurated in the temple town of Shirdi to facilitate the arrival and departures of devotees from different parts of the country.