SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS/PLACES OF WORSHIP “DEMOLISH TEMPLES, BUILD SCHOOLS” in the early years of Marxism, in the nineteenth century, this slogan was raised by the followers of communism. It has not happened, nor was it required in such a drastic way. Demolishing something and building something else on that, helps none. However, the question is, do our Gods need such palatial houses? India lives in its villages and the vast stretches of slums dotted all around our Metros. A vast majority of our population living in these villages and slums is much below the poverty line as described by the Government of the day. Some families find it difficult to afford two meals round the year. On a rough estimate more than 50% of Indian population lives below poverty line. An UNO survey puts Indian per capita Gross Domestic Product at $1032(RS 46000) per annum. Coupled with this problem of poverty are the problems of health, education, and employment. Government schemes directed towards improving these areas have failed in implementation. A very small percentage say 15% reaches the intended beneficiaries and balance is pocketed by the shameless people who run these schemes. It is proved beyond doubt that governments alone can not solve the problem of poverty, granting that the intention and implementation are good. On the other hand we find huge sums being spent on the building of new abodes for our Gods and Goddesses and maintenance of the existing ones. Not Hindus alone, other communities are not far behind in building new Mosques, Gurudwaras and Churches. We are good at donating for such cause to ensure our Gods live in comforts they are used to. This reminds me of the following lines by famous Urdu Poet Nida Fazli. 1.बच्चा बोला देखकर मस्जिद अIलिसान , अल्लाह तेरे एक को इतना बड़ा मकIन. (Upon seeing the huge Mosque, the child said “God! for you alone such a big house?) 2.घर से बड़ी दूर है मस्जिद. चलो कुछ ऐसा करें , सड़क पर रोते हुए इस बच्चे को हसाया जाये. (The Mosque is far away from the house, let us do something like this. Let us try to make this crying child, laugh) From time immemorial Kings and Badshahas built huge temples and mosques all over the country. As Indians we are proud of these magnificent structures. Many of these abodes of our Gods, Prophets, and Saints were built during famine times to keep the people engaged but the hidden message of wealth and splendor was for the neighboring kings also. We have enough of these abodes. Some of them are engaged in the field of health and education and are doing commendable job. These structures are our national pride, assets and witness of our rich cultural past. Every effort must be done to protect our heritage. However, do we need to build new abodes particularly when these funds could be utilized for the benefit of the poor and marginalized members of our country?