Karkala: The annual feast of St Lawrence shrine in Attur, concluded on Thursday January 30. It attracted more than 10 lakh devotees, breaking the barriers of faith.
Food packets and alms were distributed to the destitutes’ at the Shrine of St Lawrence at Attur-Karkala on 30, after three days of the annual feast of the ‘Saint of Miracles’. The alms giving tradition at the shrine has been going on from the last Fifteen years.
Prior to this practice, the destitutes and beggars used to have a free run during the annual feast at Attur due to which most of the pilgrims had to face inconvenience and harassment from them for alms. Later, in line with the government policy of discouraging begging in public places and to avoid inconvenience to the pilgrims, the Shrine Committee with the help of the police decided to put an end to begging during the annual feast at Attur.
Instead, the pilgrims were asked to deposit their alms meant for the destitute in separate boxes kept for this purpose. The alms collected in these boxes were distributed to the destitute after the end of the three days of the annual feast along with packets of cooked food.
The alms were distributed under the presence of Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi Diocese, Fr William Martis director for inter-religious dialogue of the diocese and Fr George D’Souza director of the shrine. The beggars were divided into three categories depending on their problems and state of their physical health. Around 1500 destitutes received alms totalling Rs 9,10,000.
The distribution of alms and food packets to the destitutes could be considered as the final act of the annual feast of St Lawrence at the shrine at Attur-Karkala.
Richard Pinto vice president of Parish pastoral council, George Castelino Nakre, John D’Silva, Praveen, Roshan Castelino and others were present.