SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN TRUST TO OPT FOR IPR
26th April`2011 The Sai Baba Sansthan at Shirdi and other high-profile religious trusts like the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, and Lalbaugcha Raja of Mumbai, temple trusts which receive hundreds of crores of rupees as donation every year, are opting for Intellectual Property Rights. These Temples and their Deities have lakhs of devotees and so also attract unscrupulous elements. Fake names identical to the original Trusts are formed which demand donations, thus cheating the devotees. The Cash-rich Trusts & Mandals use these donations to invest in Educational institutes, Hospitals and provide Food to the needy.When these activities garner popularity, they attract more funds. People cheating Sai devotees using Sai Baba's name was an eye-opener for the Sai Baba Sansthan`Shirdi Trust, which has a Rs 1,000-crore annual turnover. Located in Ahmednagar district, the Shirdi Trust receives annual donations of around Rs 300-Rs 400 crore. The funds are used for social activities and facilities for visitors. Some 5 years ago, the Trustees noticed incidents of fake organizations with a similar name to Sai Baba Sansthan demanding donations in lakhs of rupees from devotees. So, they approached the police as well as the court. But the fake organizations were only a nuisance for the Trust and an embarrassment to the devotees. They could not be traced as most documents they provided were fake. So to create awareness & protect the devotees from such frauds the only way out was to take Legal protection. The awareness programme was immediately initiated and various teams were formed to educate Sai Baba's followers. The Shirdi Trust also decided to seek Intellectual Property cover with the help of Pune-based Great Mission Group Consultancy. This legal protection will prohibit any group from using a name similar to Sai Baba Sansthan`Shirdi. Except for the Shirdi Trust, nobody can use the same name for any activity now. The IPR freezes your name and provides legal protection. The offender can be penalized in terms of heavy fines. The IPR was introduced mainly for the Legal support for commercial purpose, but with increased flow of funds to these Temple Trusts, the IPR's cover was extended to these Trusts as well. There are many other religious trusts in the state that face similar problems. If the well-known trusts set an IPR example, other trusts will avail of such legal cover. A Team is also planning such meetings in Europe & United Kingdom with the devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba to educate them about the trust and the right way to make donations.
Labels: Latest News from Shirdi for 2011