A gesture that beggars description

“Looks are deceptive” and “God works in mysterious ways” are two phrases essential to tell the story of septuagenarian Y Yadi Reddy.Those who regularly visit the Muthyalampadu Shiridi Saibaba temple are familiar with Yadi Reddy.

They see him every day in his saffron robes seeking alms. An ordinary “temple beggar” for a decade, he surprised the administration by donating Rs. 1 lakh to the temple in 2016.

Yadi Reddy saves every rupee given to him and gives it back to temples.

Over two and half decades, he has donated Rs. 7 lakh to three temples in the city. Just a couple of months ago, he donated Rs. 1,00,116 to the Kanakadurga temple in the name of his father Siva Reddy, he claims.

Yadi Reddy was again in the news on Thursday for donating Rs. 1,00,008 to the very Saibaba temple in front of which he seeks alms.

This is his contribution for the “Laksha Narikela Jalarchana” (one lakh coconut water worship) for the Saibaba statue to be held on July 26, the Gurupournima Day. “It is a unique puja and I want to be part of it. Every rupee I get till I die will go to the temple,” he said.

His story is full of surprises and contradictions.

He ran away from home in Posampadu village in Nalgonda district when he was 10 because he was afraid of his father but donated Rs. 1 lakh for ‘annadanam’ (free food) to the Kanakadurga temple in his name.

Yadi Reddy could not save anything when he was a rickshaw-puller for over three decades.

But things changed after he turned into a “temple beggar”.

Over 12 years, he managed to save more than Rs. 1 lakh in a bank. “One day I fell very sick and felt I was going to die. I thought it was better to donate the money for ‘annadanam’ instead of leaving it in the bank,” he says.

“After I recovered, word got around that I donated all I had to the temple and the devotees have become more generous,” he says.

They are comfortable giving to him instead of offering in the temple hundi. His daily expenditure also has come down because devotees take care of that too. “Whatever I need like clothes, blankets, umbrella they gave me,” he said.

Free operation

Even his medicare is taken care of by wellwishers. “I needed an operation for a urinary track problem. Sentini Hospital surgeon G Ajay Kumar said he had read about my donation in
The Hindu
and did the operation free of cost,” Yadi Reddy says.

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