HYDERABAD, INDIA, October 18, 2017 (Hindustan Times): The Telangana government will offer US$4,570 for women who marry Brahmin bachelors working as temple priests from next month, a senior state official has said. Arranged marriages for young Brahmin men working as temple priests have become difficult since women and their families choose men with fatter pay cheques, officials said, explaining the reason behind the incentive scheme. In addition to the $4,570 – which will be given as a fixed deposit jointly to the couple – the government will pay $1,523 to fund the wedding ceremony. [HPI note: a priest is unable to conduct his full temple duties until he is married.]
Last month, chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced that all archakas (priests) and other temple employees will get salaries on the first of every month like any other government employee, with a fixed pay scale. “Their salaries would be revised along with other government employees, whenever there is a pay revision,” he said. Ramanachary said with the implementation of pay scales, the temple priests would get a respectable position in the society. “And with the present incentive scheme, the eligible bachelors will also get suitable alliances in the coming days,” he added.