from Rons Bantwal
for Daijiworld Media Network – Mumbai (SM)
Mumbai, Aug 7: The Velankanni Mata Shrine at Bhatte Bunder, Uttan was packed and overflowing with people who gathered for a multi religious prayer meeting organized by the Bhayander deanery to seek the Lord's blessings and guidance to face the dangers of SEZ in the Dharavi Island (Uttan-Gorai region).
The Prayer meeting was well-organized with recitation of readings from the Bible, Bhagwad Gita and Quran with themes like 'Thanksgiving for all that God has provided’ and 'Doing One's duty steadfastly.' Hymns like 'Le chal Prabhu, andhere se jyoti ki ore', 'Itni shakti hame de data, Maan ka vishwas kamzor na hona' and 'Hoge kamiyab' set the tone of the hour long service making it a beautiful experience.
Prayer of the devotees included prayers for protection of the environment, for government officials so that they would do their duty diligently, for elected representatives so that they see the light of reason and make correct decisions, for those who have lost their lands to SEZ, for those who have sacrificed their lives protesting against SEZ, for social activists who were committed to fighting injustice and for the unity of the faithful.
The letter from the Archbishop of Bombay which urged the community to be vigilant and join the protest meetings against SEZ was read out. The Gorai Youth Group gave an energetic performance with the street play that highlighted the pitfalls of SEZ and the need to preserve their lands, culture and heritage.
The meeting ended with the lighting of candles at the grotto in the compound.