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Five more woman odhuvars appointed in HR&CE temples in Tamil Nadu | Chennai News

CHENNAI: The Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR and CE) department on Monday appointed 15 odhuvars, including five women, in the temples managed by it.
Odhuvars sing Thevaram and other Tamil devotional hymns and songs in temples. They won’t enter the sanctum sanctorum.
With the appointment of the five women, the total number of woman odhuvars in HR&CE temples reached 10.
“All the 10 woman odhuvars were appointed after the DMK came to power in 2021,” said HR &CE minister P K Sekar Babu after issuing the appointment order to women.
The odhuvars completed three years training in different temples and mutts.
M Gomathi of West Mambalam in Chennai said becoming an odhuvar was her childhood dream. “Even at a young age, I used to recite Thevaram fluently. It was my childhood dream to work in temples. Now getting appointed as an odhuvar is a dream come true for me,” said Gomathi, whose husband is also working as a temple priest at West Mambalam.
Sekar Babu said odhuvars would be employed only in Shiva temples and not in Vaishnava temples.
Recently, three women who completed archaka (priest) training were issued course completion certificates and are currently employed as assistant priests in different temples. “They will work as assistant priests for a year to learn all the temple agama rules and other practices from the chief priest of the temple. They are paid Rs 8,000 per month as incentives during the training period,” said Sekar Babu.

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