Archbishop Machado Calls for Religious Unity During DIN Bakrid celebrations
- DIN Celebrates Bakrid For Foster Home Children
Bengaluru: Over 450 children from fifty-five Foster Homes gathered at St Joseph’s College auditorium in Bangalore on August 18 to celebrate Bakrid. Among those present included politicians, social workers, community leaders, leaders of various religions and organizations, partners, benefactors and well-wishers.
During the Bakrid celebration organised by Dream India Network (DIN) Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore called upon all present to work for religious unity in the country. The celebration such as this would bring more harmony among different religions. He explained the meaning of the celebration and asked the people to give heed to God’s will like that of Abraham. Abraham was able to hear the voice of God and was ready to sacrifice even his beloved son for the love of God. He appreciated the efforts taken by Fr Edward Thomas SDB and Dream India Network with regard to this.
Archbishop Machado was full of praise for such programmes which he said would foster religious harmony. He felt such celebrations would inculcate in children the values of other religions and imbibe in them the importance of mingling with all in society. He lauded Fr Edward Thomas, mentor and advisor, DIN along with his collaborators in organizing such celebrations undergoing much difficulty and inconveniences. The Archbishop who himself meets various religious heads said he was happy to be associated with celebrations and functions of other religions as well. This not only has high educational values but also forms children for an orientation for a better society in the future. This also contributes towards an all-round development among children and people of all faiths live in peace and harmony. He thanked all concerned and encouraged all behind in organizing the celebration and making many to participate in it.
Dr Uday B. Garudachar, MLA Chickpet constituency, Rizwan Arshad – Karnataka Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Fr Jomon, Chancellor, Diocese of Mandya, Fr Melvin D’Cunha -Rector Arrupe Nivas, Manju – Member of Child Welfare Committee, Anjjanayya Reddy- President, Federation of Voluntary Organisations for Urban and Rural Development (FEVEOURD-K). Biplab Dutta, the Board Member of Dream India Network, Shilpa and Daniel – representatives of Dream network Foster Homes were present for the inauguration.
The inauguration began with a prayer organised by Sr. Regina EF with the children of Arunodaya and Savannur Foster Homes invoking the blessing of Allah to bless the programme and the children present there. There had been a special prayer organised for the flood victims of the country and the entire audience stood in silence for a few minutes to remember the people who lost their lives. The dignitaries together with the children inaugurated the festival by lighting the lamp. Welcoming the guests and children Fr. Edward Thomas firmly asked the religious leaders to make changes in the theological stand so that all the different religious people can pray together. Wishing them with festival greetings quoting Jesus he said: “love your neighbour adding to it I would like to go one step ahead and say love your neighbour’s God too”. He also requested the religious and political leaders not to give a divided nation to the next generation. The next generation will blame the present generation for their silence on the same.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Uday B. Garudachar MLA Chickpet constituency acclaimed the contribution of Muslims to India’s growth. India is a secular country sab ka vikas and sub ka viswas is very important in the growth of our country. He wished everyone with the blessing of Allah and advocated for a peaceful co-existence between various communities and he lauded the efforts made by Dream India.
Speaking on the occasion Rizwan Arshad said brotherhood and fraternity is the bond the children should enjoy and not the differences they have. He remembered as a child celebrating all the festivals and not even he thought that he belongs to another religion. If anyone disturbs this religious coexistence he/she should not be called an Indian. He thanked Dream India Network for making him part of the programme and promised to work together for the development of the nation.
Fr. Melvin D’Cunha – Rector Arrupe Nivas extended his cordial and warm greetings on the festival of Brakrid from the college. St. Joseph’s Arts and Science College that collaborated with the programme always stood for Religious harmony and a green India and he extended wholehearted support in this regard.
After the inauguration, the cultural programme which included, dance skit depicting the feast of Bakrid coloured the days’ programme. The traditional Muslim dance stood out among the many programmes. The children from various Foster Homes put up scintillating cultural programmes.
N.A Harris – MLA of Shantinagar made an extraordinary speech on secularism and the meaning of being a human being first. He advocated to put humanity first above religion and extended any support to Dream India Network for the support of such efforts for unity and peace he said he is willing to work together with Dream India network to instill spirituality among the people which is the core for our existence.
Manjunath Babu Asst. Commissioner of Police – City special Branch, Bangaluru, said “We are all human beings first and the religions come second and the day’s programme was a festival of humanity and such efforts were the need of the hour to instill love and confidence among the children.
Sana Suman, the Director of Swatantra Organisation (Transgender’s right based organisation) expressed her happiness in joining such a celebration. And she acknowledged the happiness and acceptance received from organisations such as Dream India Network makes them feel encouraged to work for a good cause.
Iqbal Dawood, popularly known as ‘blood man’ said Bakrid stands for ‘sacrifice’. He told his own life story and how he came up in life despite losing his mother at the age of 14. They were five children. His mother died due to lack of blood. Later on, he took up the task of giving blood to the needy from his blood bank. He exhorted the children to respect parents. One should be humanist first, the rest is next. Be a human being first and to have fellow feeling in helping the needy. ‘Life is a dream, act our part’. Remember to care for parents and do good to them that one would get back later when they become parents.
Denyal Kezi who spoke to the children said whatever faith they believed in, should live a good life. Several teachings are common to both religions of Christianity and Islam.
Dr R. Vijaya Saraswathy founder Director of VIBES spoke on the occasion and extended her full support for religious unity and peace. She also interacted with children and volunteered to be a partner in the DIN programmes.
Children put up a variety of entertainment and cultural programmes including skits, dance, singing aptly to the occasion. Marina Jitty Jose sang English and Korean songs to the cheer of the children.
Fr Edward Thomas, the brain behind the massive venture for taking care of neglected children said, “Come and join us in this transformational initiative to usher in a new social order in India.’ He invited all to be an ambassador to change and reach out to the less privileged of our society.
Fr Edward informed those present that DIN has a number of dreams for everyone in society. Some of them include ‘Dream India Foster Homes For Socially Excluded Children, Dream India Grace Homes, Colouring the Fallen Stars, Sponsorship for Education and a few others. He said every person, especially vulnerable woman, man, child, youth, elderly, deserve the best chance for care, dignity irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Dream India Network is an initiative to translate those aspirations into reality. Fr Edward, a tireless worker who lives for children and the needy elaborated on a few flagship programmes of DIN where one could partner as an individual, association, institution or corporate social responsibility groups.
Several people were honoured with bouquets, shawls and mementos. Sr. Sujatha JMJ thanked all concerned for their efforts. They include Bro. Sayimon, the provincial Superior of Franciscan Brothers, St. Joseph’s College, Rizwan Arshad, Thankachan, Praveen Peter and Peter Crisanta.