Bandra, BJP politician finances convent restructuring
by Nirmala Carvalho

Ashish Shelar is a member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. He offered his own money because "here every person is welcomed and the sisters are serving the community." Prarthanalaya (house of prayer) is a complex that houses the convent of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master and a chapel.


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM) of Bandra, Mumbai, today inaugurated the new asphalt resurfacing project on their Prarthanalaya convent. The project is being financed with the private funds of Ashish Shelar, a local member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu nationalist party). Speaking to AsiaNews the politician says: "As a representative elected by the people, it is my responsibility to do the best for the community, neighborhood and society. Prarthanalaya is a sacred place of prayer, where every person is welcomed. The sisters are at the service of society and are building new communities through their prayers, and various forms of social activities. I am happy to offer my help. "

The initiative responds to the need for modernization of the structure and was immediately supported by the Hindu leaders, contacted by the sisters. Prarthanalaya (house of prayer) is a complex that houses the convent of the congregation and a chapel, which is open for Eucharistic adoration for all the faithful, including those of non-Christian religions.

The opening ceremony of the project of asphalting of the entire complex began with a short prayer and the blessing by Fr. Michael Pinto. Following this Sister Amita Mascarenhes, superior of the convent, and Sister Vimla, split a coconut, in a typical Indian ritual with which augurs"good luck".

In addition to the nuns, the Deputy Mayor of Mumbai Alka Kerkar, many friends and benefactors were present. Ashish Shelar also dug the first hole to start off the construction process.

After the ceremony, Fr. Pinto blessed the grotto dedicated to Mary Queen of the Apostles. Ashish Shelar also entered the cave to pay homage to the Virgin. Before he crossed the threshold, he took off his shoes as a sign of respect, then laid wreaths around the statue and bowed his head in an act of veneration.