Wednesday, February 13, 2013
In one way, this branch of the Tamil Nadu Co-operative State Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd, in Alwarpet, is special because it operates as an affiliating bank, linking up close to 200 Primary Agriculture and Rural Development Banks across the state. The Bank itself was set up in 1929 to provide long term finance for some basic agriculture-related activities. Over many years, the bank has surely provided relief to many thousands of farmers in Tamil Nadu. However, this branch is also special for another reason - and that reason is why one gets to see a goodly crowd here, even if they are not agricultural loan applicants.
In 1968, several employees of this branch decided that, apart from financial assistance, some spiritual guidance must also be made available. For reasons that I'm slightly fuzzy about, their deity of choice was Hanuman - also known as Anjaneyar - and set up a temple inside the bank's compound. Very soon, the temple began to attract students preparing for their Chartered Accountancy exams. Maybe they believed that this Anjaneyar had inside knowledge of accounts. Maybe it was just convenient for them to drop by after their CA classes, many of which were held in nearby Mylapore. Over the years, the belief in Anjaneyar's specialisation was expanded to cover any course that was bracketed with the letters C and A; CWA, CFA, CIA and why, even the CPA exams would be easier if you dropped by for a quick prayer here.
The place is now better known for the temple than the bank itself. Ask any aspiring CA about the TNCSARD Bank and you will get blank stares, but s/he would definitely know about CA Anjaneyar, or Bank Anjaneyar!