July 17, 2024

International Temples Convention and Expo (ITCX) 2023 serves as platform for knowledge sharing

The ongoing International Temples Convention and Expo (ITCX) 2023, a mega knowledge-sharing meet that has converged temple stakeholders from 250 temples around the world, served as a launchpad for a line of innovative products, services and initiatives on its second day.

The event that highlights best practices, learnings for temple ecosystems is being held  at Varanasi’s Rudraksh Convention Centre in Varanasi, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Over three days, 1,000 delegates from 32 countries converged on equal footing to participate and present on the knowledge-sharing and networking platform that featured talks, sessions and case studies on organisation, management and administration of temple ecosystems.

Smart Temples Connect by Temple Connect

Taking a cue from the Smart City missions by governments to improve a city with technology systems, Giresh Kulkarni founder of ITCX 2023 and Temple Connect launched Smart Temples Connect by Temple Connect. “The mission aims to empower temple ecosystems with new-age technology, implementations for green temples and plastic-free temple ecosystems. The mission will also conduct audits for creating better SOPs (standard operating procedures).”

The initiative will serve as a point of interface, which will closely work with the temple ecosystems in various spaces of new-age media, solid waste management, water sanitisation, and sustainability, making the environment by setting up education courses, administration, and systems of SOPs for the benefit of temples. “While well-established temples possess a robust financial bandwidth to execute it, the mid and smaller temples lack guidance, leading to stagnant growth. The Smart Temple Mission seeks to support them in this ecosystem. It plans to conduct audits and initiatives to empower even the temple-dependent ecosystem – from phoolwalas, restaurants to transport or the tourism-dependent guide in those cities and support its growth to a new level,” Kulkarni said.

Social influencer’s Connect

Along with the Smart Temples Mission, he also launched Social influencer’s connect. “Social influencer’s connect initiative brings all social media influencers in the space of devotion, spiritual and CSR to support smaller temples and different causes by temples.”

Shivlings of Kashi

ITCX 2023 also witnessed the launch of the trailer of Shivlings of Kashi – a book inspired by Kashi Khand and Ling Puran by PS Venkataramanan and his wife Lalitha V. The book is essentially a compilation of Kashi’s Shivlings, various notable temples and the different elements related to it, providing a peek into Indian spirituality. Its trailer was in a documentary format, and eventually, a web series or a YouTube-based series about the Shivlings of Kashi will follow.

Annadan

Through Annadan.com, Temple Connect has connected about 1000 odd temple food distribution centres across India. On birthdays or other important occasions, devotees can visit the website, select the temple or the institution/place – assisted living facilities, schools, or orphanages, and the number of food plates to donate before clicking on ‘submit’ and making payments. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between donors be it individuals or corporates from a CSR POV – and the end beneficiary by ensuring that the food has been well-distributed.  “Annadan initiative by Temple Connect. The insight for this initiative came from the fact that while the ratio of annakshtras or temples to gurdwaras in a city is 1:100, there isn’t anyone taking care of food distribution as opposed to the consistent execution of langar in gurudwaras across the world,” said Kulkarni.

White paper from knowledge-sharing data

Lastly, the convention also served as a platform for a knowledge-sharing charcha or an open house in the evening where those at the helm of temple management participated and shared their insights into temple tourism and its improvement. The big picture was creating a white paper utilising the ideas and inputs generated at the discussion for publishing, which can be later presented to the higher authorities and key decision makers for execution for the benefit of the temple-dependent ecosystem and temple management and administration.

Giresh Kulkarni, the founder of Temple Connect and ITCX, mentioned, “As a devout temple-goer, I understand the importance of efficient and effective Temple Management for a positive experience. And by supporting temples in sharing knowledge while exploring innovative temple management techniques and tools to enhance operations and provide an overall positive experience to devotees, I believe ITCX will have a meaningful impact on the entire temple ecosystem at large.”

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   The ongoing International Temples Convention and Expo (ITCX) 2023, a mega knowledge-sharing meet that has converged temple stakeholders from 250 temples around the world, served as a launchpad for a line of innovative products, services and initiatives on its second …
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