Before I begin writing this article, it will be a necessity to declare that I respect all religions and beliefs and I respect humanity which I believe all religions respect.
Whenever you turn into a lane, be it anywhere in India, you will find different places of worship. Some tucked in a corner under a bare tin roof, some simply under the shade of a tree, some beautifully constructed for everyone to marvel and gasp at. See, this is an observation that my ten-year-old made and so have each and every one of you who has roots in India. There is nothing new in it.
The idea of a place to worship is brilliant because a community as a whole can gather under one roof and share their ideologies.
We have so many cities dedicated to worship specifically where people go specifically to wash off their sins. Believe you me, some of them are located in such brilliant sites that you would be able to do nothing but be astonished.
A few years back I traveled to one such holy city. While hopping from one godly place to another I tumbled into my family history. I found out that my ancestors owned a devoted place in the city but was no longer functioning. It was a good place. With some modifications, the place could be major in any field you would have put it into. But we had lost the claim to the place and it would be difficult to establish ownership on it now. See, since we never actually knew about the place, we did not actually feel much loss. It was just nice to know piece of history.
But that was not it. There were numerous other such places. In their places, new places were cropping up. It is a cycle of life where the old ends, new begins. So that was okay too.
But what surprised me was amidst ten thousand saintly functioning places, new ones were under construction only to establish family name while thousands begged on road.
The money that is being spent on new construction can go into rehabilitation of old place to house those on roads and the OMG (I am also referring to the film here along with the actual meaning) amount of stuff being dedicated to God can actually feed them and provide them with jobs.
In my lane alone we have three such places with thousands being spent in various festivals by those staying in slums themselves. Believe me, the amount they spend in such celebrations are equivalent to the down payment of a land that they can use to house themselves.
It is not the responsibility of the rich to just donate. It is also not the responsibility of poor to just take. Only when mutually they come to terms with a sustainable mode of survival, can progress be truly made.
Of course these are mere words. During the major festivals today crores are spent on pandals which are later demolished. I wish one day I hear that crores were spent on a place where after worship it was dedicated to rehabilitation.
One step at a time, one thinking process at a time, one change at a time is all it needs to be there.