By C.M. Paul
Nashik, Jan. 2, 2019: On the fourth day of a national jamboree, Salesian scouts and guides from all over India took out a grand peace rally flagged off by film persona and Don Bosco collaborator Boman Irani. They also organized an inter-faith prayer gathering.
Irani addressing the participants of the 13th Boscoree assembled on the Father Sean McFerran parade ground said, “I have traveled the world, I have been to so many places and seen so many different cultures, but it is not often that I go to one place and see all the cultures of India gathered in one place. You children please protect your innocence. When money and fame comes, you will be lost. So please preserve your innocence and remember nothing is too small, for even if you are just a few performing, for later on this will help you in life. Build a better India, a harmonious India, a peaceful India.”
Among the dignitaries present for the function were Mayor of Nashik Ranjana Bhansi; the Bharat Scout and Guide State Chief Commissioner of Maharashtra B.I. Nagarale, and other eminent scout trainers of India.
The day dedicated to the theme of ‘holiness’ focused on ‘peace’ and religious tolerance as a way of life.
Explaining the rationale behind the youth rally and inter-faith prayer, camp coordinator Fr Ian Doulton said, “It is to spread the message of peace; spread the idea of health, holiness, harmony; promote scouting in Nashik City; following of traffic rules and respecting police officials when the young are on the roads.”
The scouts and guides dressed in their traditional cultural attire with various peace message placards went along the already demarcated routes, accompanied by Leader Trainers, Scout Masters, Guide Captains, Salesian Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. Playing on their traditional musical instruments and dancing along the route, they proclaimed the message of peace and religious tolerance as essential for nation-building.
The live brass band by the students of Divyadaan, Nashik and traditional dances of Karnataka, West Bengal, Sikkim, Shillong kept the Scouts and Guides enthralled despite the afternoon sun.
The peace rally along the lanes and by-lanes of Nashik City culminated in an inter-faith prayer session on the grounds of Divyadaan: Salesian College of Philosophy post sunset. The purpose of the prayer service was to foster a feeling of tolerance and understanding among the scouts-guides from diverse religions.
The inter-faith prayer session began by stating the fact that as human beings, all have a common creator who is the source of all unity. Students dressed in their different religious attires were invited onstage to lead the gathering in prayer.
Each of the students recited a few verses from their religious text and explained it to those gathered.
The prayers were followed by the prayer composed for the 13th National Boscoree 2018 A grand choral ‘We shall overcome,’ in English and Hindi brought the inter-faith service to a close, with the scouts and guides pledging to build a better, peaceful, harmonious and holy India.