Hyderabad: Jain businessman, professionals, homemakers, and women entrepreneurs from Hyderabad and Secunderabad, 1,008 of them in total (508 men, 500 women), lived like a Jain monk for a day to experience a monk's life. Mr. Joseph, a Christian teacher who preaches non-violence through his paintings, also participated in the event that took place on Sunday at Jayagardens in Somajiguda.

Away from the comforts of their modern lives, the participants dressed in the robes of a monk, covered their mouth with a cloth, held punji, and spent the day in prayers. They even went for 'Bhiksha' door-to-door to collect food. They drank boiled water and did not wear footwear. Some even went on fasting and ate only after sunset.

Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Kothari, chairman of Mahavir Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd. and Mahavir Infoways Ltd, said renouncing all material comforts for a day makes you realize the importance of life and peaceful living.

R. Uttamchand Balgat, who is in the jewellery business said it was a spiritual awakening programme and he was thoroughly at peace doing it. Cloth merchant Nemichand Kawad said it was like a spiritual retreat. He realized how difficult the life of monks and saints are.

The programme was organized under the aegis of Shri Vardhman Stanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Ameerpet. It was the first time both men and women became monks. An event like this was also organized twice at Kachiguda and Bollaram. While the programme was open to all religions only Mr. Joseph, a Christian, participated.

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