Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (DV)
Udupi, Apr 16: In a remarkable gesture to foster communal harmony in the district, a 77-year-old Shirva based Christian businessman built a temple for the Hindu deity Lord Siddivinayaka.
Gabriel Nazareth is the man who built the temple in Shirva of Kaup taluk. For 50 years Nazareth strived in Mumbai where he was running his business. However, for the past few years, he has settled in Shirva and lives on his ancestral land.
Moreover, over the years, Nazareth has spent several lacs of his own money sponsoring the marriage of his relatives. Nazareth is a devotee of Lord Siddivinayaka and when working in Mumbai, had immense devotion to God. It is for this reason, that Nazareth has constructed a Siddavinayaka temple on his ancestral property in Shirva at the cost of Rs 2 crore. The installation of the idol in the temple will be held on May 4. Several people have lauded Nazareth's initiative. After the installation of the idol, the temple will be handed over to his friends. He will also appoint a priest for the temple.
Speaking to Daijiworld, Gabriel Nazareth said, "What I have done is nothing. I have walked on the path shown by the Almighty. Nothing can go wrong if we walk the path of righteousness. I have not done this for fame or pride."
"On May 4 the idol of the Lord will be installed. Later, it will be handed over to my Hindu friends. I will also build a house near the temple for the priest who performs the prayers to the deity," he added.
The complete cost of constructing the temple has been borne by Nazareth without taking any donation from the public. Appreciating Nazareth's work, people are coming forward to offer lamps, bells as donations to the temple.
Shirva is a place that is well-known for communal harmony and Gabriel Nazareth's work has sent a positive message to the society which continues to be communal and divided.