A mentally-challenged beggar who would dutifully pay for a cup of tea he was served at a temple he visited every day in Bhuj, will now have a pigeon tower (chabutro) created to honour him.
Popat the beggar has been visiting the Biharilal Mahadev temple since 1973 where he is offered tea daily. “Despite being mentally challenged, he never forgets to pay. But I have been maintaining an account of his contribution, and it has swelled to Rs 1.15 lakh,” said the priest who maintains an account of the beggars money, in an interview with Times of India.
The priests of the temple decided to immortalise the beggar's contributions to the temple by engraving his name on the pigeon tower as the donor.
'Chabutro' is derived from the word kabutar, which means pigeon in Gujarati. Generally dotting the entrances of several villages in Gujarat, these concrete tower-like structures are build for birds, especially pigeons to rest and breed in, and also store grain for their food (feeding pigeons is considered an auspicious deed in Hindu faith).
According to locals, Popat never forgets anyone who gives him money. Unable to speak, he emits screeching noises as sounds of recognition.
The community has also taken care of the beggar who recently underwent eye surgery that was arranged and financed by a few locals.
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