Mangalore: Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple here has perhaps become the first in the country to appoint two widows from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities as priests to perform pujas and other rituals.
Last year the temple had appointed two other widows as priests and they have been performing their duties since then.
Chandravathi from Ranipur and Lakshmi from Chilimbi were appointed as priests in the historic century-old shrine on Monday, making them the first widows from SC-ST communities.
They were received at the temple entrance by temple committee members, including the Managing Trustee and former Union Minister B Janardhana Poojary and taken inside the premises in a procession. Later they performed poojas and distributed prasadam to devotees.
Committee members claimed this was the first temple in the country to have appointed two widows from SC, ST communities as priests.
Speaking on the occasion, Poojary said discrimination against women, especially widows, should be stopped in all walks of life. All women should be treated as mothers,he said.
The principles of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru that all are equal in the eyes of God and possessed the same rights would be followed at the temple, he said.
The Guru had consecrated the temple in 1912. This year's Mangalore Dasara celebration at the temple was inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on September 19.