Monday, 30th October 2017

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Muslim businessman funds Durga temple

Rs 11 lakh for Murshidabad shrine

By Alamgir Hossain in Suti(Murshidabad)
  • Published 18.10.18, 12:07 AM
  • Updated 18.10.18, 12:07 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Islam (left) at the temple’s inauguration. (Samim Aktar)

A Muslim businessman donated Rs 11 lakh to help finish a Durga temple in Murshidabad’s Suti whose construction had been stalled for three years for lack of funds.

Zahirul Islam inaugurated the temple in Bamuha on Sasthi (October 15), giving the village 5km from Suti the opportunity to hold its first puja. “Allah has given me generously. I spend Rs 20-25 lakh a year on social causes. So, I decided to help them with Rs 11 lakh,” Islam said.

Bamuha is home to around 3,000 villagers. Nearly all are Hindu, except for a single Muslim locality of 300. The villagers are mostly small farmers and labourers.

The residents had collected Rs 4 lakh from among themselves in 2015. Construction began that year. The money collected was spent on purchasing the four-cottah land, building the foundation and other minor constructions.

Villagers then realised that Rs 10 to 12 lakh would be needed. As a result, the construction was stalled since the villagers had no other ways to raise money.

Over the next few years, members of the temple committee started looking for donors.

Assistant secretary of the Durga Mandir Committee, Atul Pramanik, said they had heard about Islam and his philanthropy and contacted him in April this year.

Islam, a contractor from Suti now settled in Durgapur town, is well-known across the district for making donations to build mosques.

“The temple committee approached Islam and asked him to have a look at its construction plans. In June, Islam visited the site himself and asked the committee members for a detailed layout and how much money it would take to finish the 45ftx30ft temple. The cost was estimated at Rs 11 lakh, including floor tiles.