Mumbai Catholics switch lights off in mourning

Catholics in Worli and Mahalakshmi mourned the death of the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim on Sunday by switching off the lights in their homes and neighbourhoods between 7pm and 7.30pm.

“We are unable to celebrate in the wake of this horrible incident. It is out of love and concern for the young girl that we decided to switch off the lights,” said Dr Victor Rodrigues, former president, Catholic Gymkhana.

At VP Road, nearly 150 residents dimmed the festive lights for a short time. At Jacob Circle, almost 300 families did not switch on the lights in their buildings and at the local church. Even the big stars put up as decorations for the festive week between Christmas and the New Year were not illuminated.

Catholic institutions such as the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) and St Joseph’s School, Agnipada also decided to pay homage by switching off their lights.

“It was heartening to see all the members and parishioners show their solidarity and mourn the girl’s death,” said Antonette D’mello, a Charni Road resident.

Since this was the first Sunday after Christmas, this move took place amid holy family day celebrations at Catholic households. “This day is celebrated to mark the reunion of Jesus, Joseph and Mary at Jerusalem. We chose this holy day as a family lost a dear member,” said Father Joe D’souza of St Ignatius church.


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