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Mumbai walks for peace

More than 15,000 crisscross the length of city in a nightlong pilgrimage on foot.

entertainment Updated: Mar 28, 2011 14:43 IST
Collin Rodrigues

The Marian Sewa Foundation organised its 23rd annual All Mumbai Walking Pilgrimage for Peace. Held during Lent (period between Ash Wednesday and Easter), the night-long walk was flagged off at Cross Maidan, Dhobi Talao, by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, at around 10.45 pm on Saturday. A neatly decorated pick up truck, with a Mother Mary statue lead the procession. Apart from christians, members from other communities from the city participated as well.

When it started, the assembled crowd resembled a few hundreds. But just 200 meters later it swelled into thousands. As the march moved towards Marine Drive and Charni Road stations, vehicular traffic too flowed smoothly through a lane kept open. Dozens of volunteers and policemen made sure everyone complied to the rules. At Tardeo, local residents and employees of Drum Beats distributed free water. The procession reached Haji Ali at 1.30 am, where it halted for people to rest.

A large percentage of the march consisted of teenyboppers, who made it look like a carnival. Some wore cargo pants, walked with their girlfriends and stopped to click pictures of swanky bikes and cars at Worli showrooms. But there was also a very devout group of teenagers from Bhayander in matching black tees who prayed in Marathi throughout.

After stopping for tea and biscuits outside the Portuguese church at Dadar, for half an hour, the march restarted at 3.30 am.

As a matter of fact hundreds of people were in such a hurry, that they reached the end point, Mount Mary Church in Bandra, much before the Mother Mary statue did.

Says Felix Dias of Marian Sewa Foundation, “You can’t really control all the people. We were busy managing and directing the march.” The night long rally ended in a mass at 5.45 am.