Alfred Ford, industrialist's great-grandson, urges funding of temple


The great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, Alfred B. Ford (C) watched by his wife Sharmila takes 'Prasad' (sacred food) from a Hindu priest after he offered prayers at the newly build Sri Mahalaxmi Temple in Calcutta, February 20, 2004.



Alfred B. Ford, the great-grandson of the American industrialist icon Henry Ford, made a rather unexpected appeal on Monday.

Ford, a devotee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness movement, also known as the Hare Krishna movement, appealed to the people of West Bengal in India to fund the Chandrodaya temple in Mayapur.

"The project does not belong to any community or individual, but rather to the entire human race. So every individual should participate in the campaign," he said, calling on people to participate in the Square Foot Campaign, according to Indian newspaper The Hindu.

According to The Hindustan Times, the temple could possibly be the world's largest once it is completed in 2016. The group hopes the $75 million project which began construction in 2010 will attract millions of devotees.

"I hope this temple will be a gateway for pilgrims across the world. This will be the place where Hare Krishna devotees will get together and be liberated from the hassles of the material world," Ford said, while accompanied by his Bengali wife, Sharmila Bhattacharya.

The 700,000 square foot temple will be 340 feet high with a 75 foot domed planetarium at the top.

"Ford paid for the 450,000 square foot of the temple and for the rest 250,000 square foot we are questing donations from everyone in the world," said Anand Poddar, chairman of the project, according to The Hindustan Times.

Each square foot of the temple costs Rs 7,000 ($130).