A view of Ayodhya from Sarayu river.

AYODHYA: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will launch a massive public outreach programme from Makar Sankranti (January 15) to crowd-fund the grand Ram temple project in Ayodhya.

VHP cadres will fan out across the country to collect funds from as many as 55 crore people in 4 lakh villages.

The drive will be carried out for 44 days and culminate on 27 February, which coincides with Magh Poornima and birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas.

A senior VHP functionary said that cadres would be given coupons for Rs 10, Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 for the crowd funding drive.

The functionary said, “We have learnt that some organisations have already started issuing coupons for Rs 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000. This is certainly not the official route for donations and is designed to dupe devotees. People, at present, can donate directly into the designated bank accounts.”

He said that those who contribute Rs 2,000 or more, will be given photographs of Lord Ram and the proposed Ram temple.

It may be recalled that in 1989, the VHP had launched a similar drive when people from 2.75 lakh villages across the country had donated ‘shilas’ (bricks) and a sum of Rs 1.25 crore was mobilised for Ram temple construction.

“We would go back to those villages and tell people their ‘sankalp’ (pledge) is turning to reality,” said VHP national spokesperson, Vinod Bansal.

Seers will also join in the drive and will reach out to over 1.25 lakh villages in the country. The VHP will also reach out to those communities with whom Lord Ram interacted during his 14-year-exile.

“VHP has decided to reach out to all these communities and seek funds for temple construction. We want the message of Lord Ram to reach every household,” Bansal said.

With IANS inputs