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Australia’s biggest Hindu temple opens amid rising Indian population

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Melbourne: After five years of construction a Hindu temple will be opened in the western suburb of Melbourne.It is located in Rockbank, a rocky district of Melton City.The Pre-opening ceremonies, called Pran Pratishtha Program, were held from Nov 24 and will end on Nov 30.The temple will open daily and will conduct aarti every day and kirtan on Sundays.

The Sri Durga Temple will be the biggest temple of Australia.For Hindus, the goddess Durga is highly revered. Durga is the principle form of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti in Hinduism.

Besides worship services, leaders of the Sri Durga Temple are planning to make the temple a non-profit organisation to undertake charitable activities.

Among the projects under consideration is the collection and distribution of clothing, medicine, and food to the less fortunate.

Other programs in the pipeline include organizing events such as discussions, chanting and meditation sessions, free yoga, Hindi classes, pilgrimages, helping India-descent senior citizens and students, and providing support for local schools.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), immigration has been a large contributor to the total Australian population growth for several years and  it has consistently been the main driver since 2005-06, contributing more than 50 percent of population growth in Australia.

The ABS noted that while the largest migrant groups were people born in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the next two most common birthplaces were from the Asian region — China and India, with around 450,000 and 400,000 people respectively.

“Of the top ten countries of birth, the number of Australian residents who were born in India increased the most, almost tripling from just 132,800 people in 2004 to 397,200 people in 2014,” said Denise Carlton of ABS ,as quoted by Asian Correspondent.

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism based in Nevada, said the temple serves as an important accomplishment to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts, and traditions to coming generations.

 

 

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Australia’s Maribyrnong Detention Center Gets Closed

The ruling Liberal-led coalition has faced fierce public opposition to its harsh immigration policies, including the use of unpopular offshore detention camps.

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The Melbourne, Australia, skyline is seen June 2, 2010. VOA

Australia announced the closure of Melbourne’s controversial Maribyrnong detention center Wednesday, one of several facilities used to lock up immigrants who arrived without papers.

The government said the decision to close the much-criticized facility was “another milestone in the ramping-down of Australia’s onshore immigration detention network.”

Maribyrnong opened in the middle of the last century, but has recently been the site of hunger strikes and other protests over harsh treatment.

In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission — a government body — reported guards at the facility used “more restrictive measures than necessary,” including the excessive use of restraints during escort.

australia
FILE – Protestors against asylum seekers being deported, gather for a rally in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 4, 2016. VOA

The few remaining inmates have now been transferred to other facilities.

Immigration Minister David Coleman said successful policies had reduced the number of people held at Australia’s immigration detention centers from a peak of 10,000 in 2013 to just over a thousand today.

Also Read: An ‘Underwater Garden’ Gets Revealed In Australia

Around 19 facilities have been shuttered since September 2013 — as the government looks to elections that will take place by the end of May and intense debate over immigration policies.

The ruling Liberal-led coalition has faced fierce public opposition to its harsh immigration policies, including the use of unpopular offshore detention camps. (VOA)