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Churches in silk city to hold special prayers for peace

Building bridges: A Christian priest lighting a candle, while members of the Hindu and Muslim community look on, at a function to express solidarity on the eve of Christmas with people of Kandhmal district in Berhampur on Tuesday. —

Building bridges: A Christian priest lighting a candle, while members of the Hindu and Muslim community look on, at a function to express solidarity on the eve of Christmas with people of Kandhmal district in Berhampur on Tuesday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Staff Reporter

Shoppers from Kandhamal make a beeline for the city

BERHAMPUR: The churches under Berhampur diocese would have special mass and prayers on Christmas for peace and harmony in Kandhamal.

There would also be prayers for the well being of victims of communal riots in the district, said Father Bijay Nayak. The city, which happens to be major trading centre of south Orissa has slowly started to gear up for the Christmas festivities. It may be noted that Ganjam district adjoins Kandhamal district.

The traders of the city say Christmas shoppers were arriving from Kandhamal district. S. Digal and his family from Raikia area had come over to Berhampur for two days for some shopping and to get away from the tense surrounding in Kandhamal. The buses on their way to places in Kandhamal district are getting loaded due to orders by traders of Kandhamal district from wholesalers of Berhampur for Christmas market.

According to a garments wholesaler of the city, the traders of Kandhamal district were slight sceptic this year about their Christmas market so they did not make any early orders.

With situation getting slight normal now, the traders have preferred to reach out to Berhampur and make hasty purchases for their Christmas sales. During the past one week the wholesalers of toys and children’s goods in the city have made good sales to the retailers of different places of Kandhamal district. But the sale is slightly less than earlier years. Yet the desire and hope for festivities remained. A large number of Santa Claus dresses for children were sold out.

After the long gloom people want to celebrate, yet the fear and panic remains, said L.Sahu a trader of toys and fancy items from Kandhamal district who had arrived at Ganesh Market in the city for his new stock. He had not procured any new stock since end of August when communal violence erupted in the district. He felt the people had desire to make merry and wanted peace.

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