Putting aside religious differences, Hindu man in Dharavi reaches out to Muslim friends

dadri

    In the wake of the recent Dadri incident, in which a mob of people killed a Muslim man after rumours of him storing cow meat surfaced, a Hindu man in Dharavi has succeeded in setting a good example.

 

Deepak Kale, who has been providing space for Muslims to pray

In the wake of the recent Dadri incident, in which a mob of people killed a Muslim man after rumours of him storing cow meat surfaced, a Hindu man inDharavihas succeeded in setting a good example.

As a mosque in Bandra’s Dharavi area is getting renovated, a Hindu shopkeeper has temporarily given the space inside his store to Muslim devotees to conduct daily prayers. “Five months ago, they asked me if they could pay me rent and use the space inside my shop to offer prayers. I refused the proposal and asked them to use the space free of cost, instead,” recalled Deepak Namdeo Kale, the Hindu shop owner.

Fifty-two-year-old Deepak’s warm gesture has become the talk of the town lately. Deepak, who runs a leather business in Dharavi area, grew up with kids belonging to the Muslim community. I have never really seen a difference between the two communities. All my life, I have lived among Muslim friends, Deepak stated.

Members of Noor Masjid from Dharavi’s Mukund Nagar approached Deepak, in April, this year, asking to rent his 3,000 sq ft shop to offer daily prayers. “They asked me how much the rent will be for a couple of months. I immediately rejected the offer. All the mosque members are my childhood friends. They still insisted on taking money but I refused,” said Deepak.

Ever since, nearly 300 Muslim devotees visit Deepak’s shop to offer daily prayers. On Fridays, the number of devotees increases to 700. “I have done nothing great. They didn’t want the place to start a business; they wanted it to offer prayers. I could have never charged them for remembering God,” said Deepak.

Meanwhile, people from the Muslim community are all praises for Deepaks warm gesture. “This is not the first time that Deepak has done something for our community. His family has given shelter to us during the time of riots in the city,” said Khurshid Khan, 48, secretary of Noor

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