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Mangaluru: In exemplary gesture, over 150 St Aloysius students clean Gurudwara premises

Mangaluru, Mar 5: In a gesture of inter-faith solidarity, about 154 students from different religious background offered a day long voluntarily service at a local Gurudwara at Kottara Chowki in the city on Sunday. The students and staff who participated in the service drive were from the city based St Aloysius College.

Plastic bottles, wires, papers, shreds of wooden boxes were spread all across the Gurudwara premises at Bangra Kulur in Kottara Chowki, when the students from Centre for Social Concern of St. Aloysius College decided to set it right. The students equipped with brooms, collection bins initiated the cleanliness drive at 9.30 am.

"Since the area is close to the National Highway, motorist and pedestrians usually throw the waste off the road. Besides, there is a slum in the area, whose residents in the absence of proper waste management system are forced to dispose the unwanted material randomly," Balvinder Singh Virdhi, member of the Gurudwara said.

The cleanliness drive that kick-started at Shri Guru Singh Sabha, lasted till afternoon 1.30 pm, however by the end of the day the group had cleared the entire surrounding area of Gurudwara from its unwanted debris.

Interestingly, in a district that has gained infamy for being communally sensitive, the voluntary act by the students has been lauded locally. "None of the students hailed from Sikh community, these students were either Muslims, Christians, Hindus and from other respective religions. During the entire day, none of them showed any sign of hesitation or reluctance in keeping the area around the premise clean. We felt like they were our own children and had known them for years,” President of Gurudwara Mahipal Singh said.

Since the early 1990's, the community has migrated from different parts of the country like Northern states like Punjab, New Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for trade and commerce in the coastal belt. Some of them communicate in Kannada and even in the regional dialect of Tulu. Until 2011 - the community members had a temporary Gurudwara at Mannagudda, the new Gurudwara that was inaugurated in 2011 caters to about 50 people of the Sikh community in the region.

Post their service, the volunteers were invited by the Sikh community leaders for lunch at the langar (temple kitchen) in Gurudwara. "We hope that we are able to take forward the message of communal-bonding in the society at large. We believe inter-religious congregation and activities help in building a peaceful and strong society," Iqbal Singh, Secretary of the Gurudwara said.


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Title : Mangaluru: In exemplary gesture, over 150 St Aloysius students clean Gurudwara premises


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