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Mutter Teresa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.

– Mother Teresa

Kolkata, August 26, 2016: Days before she is declared a saint by the Vatican, special masses and prayers marked Mother Teresa’s 106th birth anniversary celebrations here on Friday.

Candles were lit and the nun’s grave at Mother House- the global headquarters of her Catholic order Missionaries of Charity- was decorated with flowers as the sisters and other eminent persons sang hymns, read from the Bible and recalled her celebrated life.

Mother Teresa is set to be canonised by Pope Francis at the Vatican on September 4, a day ahead of her 19th death anniversary.


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By a coincidence, Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997, barely 10 days after her 86th birthday.

A large number of people, including school children and residents of the various homes run by the MoC, congregated at Mother House, which wore a festive look.

A special prayer card for the faithful read: “We thank you (Lord Jesus) for the gift of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonised in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

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Similar programmes were organised at the other homes run by the Missionaries of Charity.

The four-day Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF), which would feature 23 foreign and Indian films made on or inspired by the Nobel laureate, was inaugurated during the day at the state government-run auditorium Nandan.

Paying homage, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “My deepest respect on the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.”

Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Prema, who is already in the Vatican, said in a message that the order was looking forward to the celebrations of the Mother’s sainthood with great joy.

“It will be a moment when gathered around Mother we shall have an experience of universal family of the children of the one Heavenly Father. The difference of caste, creed, colour, rich, poor will not prevent us from rejoicing together in the honour bestowed on Mother,” said Sister Prema.

Underscoring that the sainthood to be bestowed on the Mother would inspire the people in Kolkata as also all over the world to follow her example of humble services for everyone, she said: “Mother is with God and as she promised us she continues to light the light of hope and peace in everyone’s heart.” (IANS)

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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

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