Fadnavis welcomes ostracized couple from Sindhudurg

Mumbai: In a warm gesture Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis invited a couple socially boycotted by their village to his official residence and performed pooja of Lord Ganesh, an official said here on Thursday.

The ostracized couple, hailing from Mahadevache-Kerwade village in Sindhudurg district had come to Mumbai seeking justice against the “social boycott” imposed by the local “Jaat Panchayat”.

In order to highlight their plight, Parmanand Hewalekar and his wife Preetam went to the main gates of Mantralaya – the state government headquarters – with an idol of Lord Ganesh, on Wednesday evening.

They claimed the villagers had barred them celebrating Ganeshotsav owing to the social boycott on them so they decided to come to Mumbai.

When they attempted to enter Mantralaya with the idol of Lord Ganesh, they were told to deposit it (the idol) outside by the security, but they remained seated on the pavement along with the god.

When Fadnavis heard about their dilemma, he directed the Mumbai police to make arrangements for their stay and other comforts last night.

On Thursday, the Hewalekar couple was warmly welcomed at “Varsha”, the CM’s official residence at Malabar Hill and invited to perform a pooja of the Lord Ganesh idol installed there with Fadnavis.

Later, he sat with them and learnt about the social boycott and other issues they encountered in the village.

Moved by their predicament, Fadnavis ordered the district collector and police superintendent to forthwith enquire into the matter with the village authorities, and initiate appropriate measures to provide relief to the Hewalekars.

The happy couple expressed their gratitude to Fadnavis and are shortly planning to return to their native village.