As old as the temple is, the tradition of Annadana states that there shall be free food for every pilgrim in the temple. With the number of pilgrims growing every year, Dr. Heggade noticed that the old dining hall was unable to accommodate the number of visitors. In 1986, Dr. Heggade unveiled Annapurna, a bigger and modernized dining hall where lakhs of people are served every day. Delicious wholesome food is prepared and served under the most hygienic of conditions, the kitchen has also been featured on National Geographic channel, lauding its size, cleanliness, sophistication and architecture.
A unique duty of the Heggade involves offering relief to people in need of solace. Every morning and evening, irrespective of caste or creed, people line up to meet the Heggade and share their troubles and sorrow and to seek a solution.
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Thanks to Dr. Heggade’s vast experience and insight into the many aspects of life, he not only lends his ears but also offers advice and solutions to these problems. In addition to that, he also leverages his social programmes to provide socio-economic relief to the underprivileged, be in the way of scholarships, medical aid or pensions.
Free medical aid to the needy has been a valued tradition at the temple. Shri Heggade’s vision was to have long term plans to eradicate illness and poverty, and educate people on benefits of cleanliness and health care. The SDM medical trust was thereafter set up to devise these solutions.Now the trust is spread over along the length of the country with its super specialty hospitals, Dental Hospitals, Ayurveda Hospitals, Naturopathy Hospitals, Eye Hospitals etc.
Shri Manjayya Heggade, the then Dharmadhikari, sowed the seeds of charitable knowledge rendition in and around Dharmasthala, that has now grown into a huge educational trust rending education to millions of aspiring students.
Inspired by the previous Heggade, SDM Educational Society (R), a premier non-profit educational organization was established by Shri Veerendra Heggade, to add the catalytic effect of education to the Kshetra’s efforts in the upliftment of society. Today, under the able guidance of its distinguished president, Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade, SDM educational Society spearheads the activities of more than 50 premier academic and professional institutions spread across Karnataka. Establishments that represent the best of traditional expertise and contemporary excellence form the base for studies in subjects ranging from Medicine, Engineering, Law, Social Sciences, Management, Naturopathy and Ayurveda.