Kirtan party within the inner dwellings of the informal settlement. All photos courtesy of Ananta Vrindavana Dasa.
On Saturday, 7 October, His Holiness Indradyumna Swami visited the informal Bottlebrush settlement in Chatsworth, south of Durban. Residents were treated to a taste of the spiritual world through a vibrant and colourful harinam party and delicious prasadam distribution.
This location is home to thousands of residents of Durban who live in impoverished conditions. In this area, the residents create small make-shift shelters with minimal living space, no tar roads, or proper sanitation facilities. Tin, plastic, and other durable materials are used to construct the shelters, often shared between a few families.
Devotees engaged with the residents through chanting and dancing in these areas. The harinam party invited everyone to join – creating a synergy of spirit and a mood of happiness. Little children loved being the centre of attention within the kirtan circle, clapping their hands and being cheered on by devotees. They do not often receive this kind of attention and, therefore, were very excited to have the devotees invite them to be part of the singing and dancing. Although it was a hot and humid Spring day, there was no holding back in participation as the maha-mantra resounded through the streets.
To the resident’s delight, the Food For Life van pulled up with freshly prepared, warm meals that were distributed by His Holiness Indradyumna Swami. Maharaja has been visiting South Africa since 1986 and, for over three decades, has been hosting festivals and programs here. However, these food distribution campaigns within the informal areas are close to Maharaja’s heart. This effort was appreciated as residents willingly came forward to take their breyani plates prepared in a Food For Life kitchen not too far from the serve-out area.
Food For Life South Africa has over 24 branches across the country, of which 17 are located in Durban. The team’s vision is to alleviate hunger in South Africa by serving freshly cooked meals. Prasadam distribution occurs daily in various areas of the province.
The imprint of this visit by Indradyumna Swami and the devotees, accompanied by harinam and prasadam distribution, has surely left a lasting impression on the hearts of those at Bottlebrush informal settlement. Wide-eyed, broad smiles and happy hearts – topped with full bellies were undoubtedly the order of the day, a warm South African experience pleasing to the hearts and carrying Srila Prabhupada’s vision forward.
To view an interview of Indradyumna Swami by Krsangi Radhe Dasi, ISKCON SA Communications Director, click здесь..
To learn more about the extensive Food for Life programs in South Africa, visit their сайт..
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