The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has decided to put in place a mechanism to award the title of ‘sant’ to stop its misuse by people like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The move by the top body of Hindu religious leaders was prompted by the recent rape conviction and jailing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda, a quasi- religious body based in Sirsa in Haryana. There is a very strong feeling among saints that because of misdeeds of just one or two religious leaders, the entire community was being shown in a bad light, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said.. The title will be given after evaluating and examining an individual. A senior functionary of the Akhara Parishad said that they had also decided that a saint cannot hold cash or have any assets in his name. “All such things — assets and cash — should belong to a trust and should be utilised for the welfare of the people at large,” the functionary said. Mr Jain said that the people should also “cross-check” an individual’s credentials before becoming their disciples.