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Prayers & valour on holy day

POWER PLAY: Boys display gatka skills during Prakashotsav in Jamshedpur on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur: Prayers, procession, food and fervour marked 351st Prakashotsav, the birth anniversary of the 10th holy teacher Guru Gobind Singh in the steel city.

Wearing turbans and dupattas in saffron, the colour of bravery, over 15,000 men and women of the Sikh community took part in the 6km-long nagar kirtan (procession). Chief minister Raghubar Das flagged off the procession from Kadma Gurdwara.

"Guru Gobind Singh taught us that the nation is greatest of all and we should walk on the path shown by him. He believed in equality much beyond the ideas of caste, creed and gender," said Das, while addressing sikhs at the gurdwara.

The procession, which started from Kadma and culminated in Sakchi, was organised by Central Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and supported by Sakchi and Kadma Gurdwara.

Members of All India Sikh Students Federation, Dharam Prachar Committee, Gurmukh Prachar Centre, Sikh Naujawan Sabha and Stree Satsang Sabha and schoolchildren also took part in the procession, singing hymns in praise of the Sikh guru on the way, while youths rode on horses and waved the kirpan (sword).

Kiosks were set up in various spots along the way to offer prasad, water or sherbet to all those taking part in the procession.

Children and youths displayed their skills in gatka, the Sikh martial art.

"Taking part in the procession is considered to be auspicious. Every year we pass our traditions to the younger ones in the family," said Kulwinder Kaur, an entrepreneur in Jugsalai.

True to tradition, all 34 gurdwaras in the city were decked up and illuminated.

The customary delicious langar (community feast), which comprised rice, chapati, tadka dal, sabji and pickles, was served in all gurdwaras, catering to huge crowds.

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