(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners from Mumbai look forward to meeting people at the “Equal Streets” event every Sunday morning, when a busy thoroughfare and shopping center area is closed to vehicular traffic for pedestrian-only activities. It is a perfect opportunity to introduce Falun Dafa.
“Equal Streets,” an EMBARQ India (a World Resources Institute for sustainable transport and urban development organization) initiative, is also supported by local businesses. The goal is to make public places accessible and help people feel more a part of the community. In Mumbai, the “Equal Streets” event stretches for 6 kms, from the suburb of Bandra to the suburb of Santacruz.
Every Sunday for three hours, the busy thoroughfare buzzes with the sounds of children and adults cycling, roller skating, singing and dancing, decorating the roads with colored chalk, and trying their hand at origami and other paper crafts.
Falun Dafa practitioners in Mumbai have participated in this event since November 2014. On any given Sunday, at least 20 people participate in learning the exercises and hundreds take informational fliers. There are often large groups of people who want to give the exercises a try. Many want to know how it is different from yoga and Tai Chi.
They are surprised when they learn that practitioners teach the exercises for free. As one woman commented, “In today’s world, who would give anything for free?”
Many of the residents from the Bandra suburb have relatives in Hong Kong and have seen Dafa practitioners doing the exercises in parks. They are also familiar with the persecution of Falun Dafa in China. They asked why such a peaceful practice is being persecuted. One gentleman remarked, “You folks are so fortunate to be able to practice freely in India.”
One woman mentioned, “I am so impressed with the peaceful expression practitioners have on their faces when doing the meditation, even with all the noise around them.”
A young girl by the name of Sneha was watching practitioners do the exercises and following along with the movements. A practitioner took her aside and started teaching her the exercises. Sneha said that she would like to give informational fliers to more people so that they could learn Falun Dafa also.
“Equal Streets” is slowly catching on in other cities in India. While Equal Streets certainly aims to be a fun, community-building event, it has been a great opportunity to reach out to so many people and create awareness about Falun Dafa.