Goa priest suggests alternative to PM’s ‘light lamp’ call

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Panaji, April 5 (IANS) A video of a Catholic priest from the St. Francis Xavier parish in South Goa advising the faithful to not adhere to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light a lamp at 9 p.m. has gone viral.

In the video, a livestream mass conducted by Fr. Bolmax Pereira on Saturday, the priest goes on to say rather than lighting a lamp, it would be more practical to make phone calls to the underprivileged and enquire about their health and needs.
It would assure them that they were not alone in the hour of crisis, triggered by Covid-19, he said.
“The PM has asked to light lamps. I say to all my parishioners, don’t do these unnecessary things. Recently, we were witness to the ‘taali bajao and thali bajao’ spectacle. I am telling the parishioners, no one should step out of their homes with lamps and torches. Stay within the house,” Fr. Pereira said in the video.
Appreciating the PM’s idea to let everyone know that they aren’t alone in this darkness (caused by Covid-19), he said, it (his comments) should not be viewed as something against the Prime Minister or the government.
Offering an alternative suggestion to the parishioners of Chicalim, Fr. Pereira said, “At the prescribed time, pick up your phone and make a call to enquire about the other, especially those who are in distress or are poor. Enquire whether they have food, medicines.
“This will be more sensible way to tell each other that you are not alone.”
Stating that the coming days are crucial in the battle against Covid-19, he urged people to maintain social distancing, avoid thronging markets and stay indoors.
The Prime Minister has urged people to light a lamp, a candle or a torch outside their homes on Sunday at 9 p.m. for nine minutes to thank medical practitioners for the efforts they are making to contain Covid-19.
–IANS
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