A strike of humanity in times of antipathy
In an example of communal harmony, two youths, Shaik Umar and Wasim Akram of Rahmathnagar and Borabanda respectively, have been setting up Ganesh pandals for years.
Rahmathnagar/Borabanda: In an example of communal harmony, two youths, Shaik Umar and Wasim Akram of Rahmathnagar and Borabanda respectively, have been setting up Ganesh pandals for years.
Umar was inspired by his father Mohammed who first set up a pandal in the year 1984. Umar took over the responsibility 10 years ago and has since been religiously doing it.
What is interesting is 90 per cent of the Rs 3.5 lakh spent in setting up the pandal is borne by the family. Umar says, "We were born and brought up in Warasiguda and have a number of Hindu friends. My father visited Tirupati several times.
When people question my religion, I respond and tell them 'I am Indian.' I don't believe in caste and religion which give nothing but create differences among people. I believe in secularism and I also respect every religion."
When asked whether anyone discouraged him or opposed doing this, Umar said, "I faced obstacles at the beginning and in recent years only from the political leaders not at all from the community and both the Hindus and the Muslims community people come together offer prayer at my pandal and that is what I call unity in diversity."
Wasim Akram from Borabanda was instrumental in forming Yuva Bharat Youth Association in Banjara Nagar in the year 2013 with the help of his three friends. Later, the association became stronger with the support of youngsters, family and the friends.
"The main objective of organising pandal is devotion towards god. 'God is for all.' we have been organising this pandal for the last 16 years and never asked for funds. We pool in money for expenses. We also save amount for the next year," said Wasim Akram.