Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pune’s Muslims hold iftar party for warkaris


PUNE: The palkhis of Sant Tukaram Maharaj and Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj made their way into the city on Sunday. There were very few people out on the streets to greet the palkhis due to the India-Pakistan cricket match but the fervour and enthusiasum of the warkaris was enough to arouse the interest of many.

A group of volunteers from the Muslim Awakaf Welfare Trust, near Darwalala Pul in Rasta Peth, were ready to welcome the warkaris for their stay in the city. “For the last four years, Ramadan and wari fall together in the same month,” explains Mustaq Patel, member of the trust. He along with his friends organise an iftar party to break their fast with the warkaris. 

“Fasting during Ramdan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is intended to teach a person discipline. It helps us reconnect with spirituality,” said Patel. It also teaches us to help others, he added. 

“An iftar is a meal which is keenly looked forward to and is very joyful. This joy is elevated when shared with others. Having a ‘one dish iftar party’ with friends so that we can share the reward of feeding others brings a different kind of satisfaction,” explains Amaanat Shaikh, a resident of NIBM road who also helps in organising the Iftar. 

Around 400 warkaris made their way to the Samarth Vyayam Mandir grounds where their Muslim brothers organised that iftar party. The table was laden with dry fruits, sheerkurma (sweet), and snacks. “We understand that many of the warkaris also hold a fast and we are happy to break our fast with them,” adds Munaf Sheikh. They have a strictly vegetarian policy to keep the faith of the warkaris. 

Mohan Maharaj Daware Guruji hails from Dehu gaon and leads his dindi of 250 warkaris. “We have been camping on this ground since the last 30 years and every time, our Muslim brothers have helped us in getting fresh water and food. But since the last four years, we have been breaking out fast together. It feels good to sit with them and share the happiness of celebrating both the festivals together.” 

Guruji is also happy with this year’s preparation for the Wari. “We find that the roads are cleaner, there is water to drink while walking and there are good toilets too unlike last year,” he added.


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