Ajmer, April 9 (IANS) The donation of $1 million offered by Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit to the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti will be spent on education, health and other welfare activities in Ajmer, the shrine authorities said.
'The donation will be put to use for noble causes including education, health, religious functions and financial help for widows among others,' said Wahid Chisti, secretary of the Anjuman Syed Zadgan, a custodian body of the shrine.
He said the body would receive the donation from Zardari through Indian government channels.
Accompanied by his son Bilawal, Zardari offered prayers at the revered shrine here Sunday.
The 21-member body, which holds the purse strings of the shrine, represents the khadims (caretakers) who claim to be relatives of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.
'Anjuman spends a lot of money for the cause of education. The body runs one English medium higher secondary school and a seminary in Ajmer,' Natiq Chisti, a khadim who helped Zardari and his son in the prayers Sunday, told IANS.
'The media reported that the donation is for the dargah. The donation will be for Anjuman Syed Zadgan,' a khadim told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
'The Pakistan High Commission said the Pakistan government will offer the money for Anjuman Syed Zadgan,' he clarified.
Anjuman also runs a small hospital in the city.
'Apart from this, we also send money to major shrines across the country and arrange for the langar (community kitchen) at these shrines,' Natiq Chisty told IANS.
He said the body also provides scholarship to meritorious students of the khadim community and financial assistance to widows.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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