Bondala was celebrated with lot of enthusiasm by the staff and the kids. Different songs were sung kids and played to their hearts content.
Starting with first day of the month of Ashvin as per Hindu calendar (around month of October), the nine-day and -night festival immediately preceding the most important festival Dasara is celebrated all over India with different traditions. In Maharashtra on the very first day of this 10-day festival, idols of Goddess Durga are installed at many homes. This installation of the Goddess is popularly known as Ghatsthapana. During this period, little girls celebrate ‘Bhondla/Hadga’ as the Sun moves to the thirteenth constellation of the zodiac called “Hasta” (Elephant). During the nine days, Bhondla (also known as ‘Bhulabai’ in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra) is celebrated in the garden or on the terrace during evening hours by inviting female friends of the daughter in the house. An elephant is drawn either with Rangoli on the soil or with a chalk on a slate and kept in the middle. The girls go around it in a circle, holding each other’s hands and singing the Bhondla songs. All the Bhondla songs are traditional songs passed down the generations. The last song typically ends with the words ‘…khirapatila kaay ga?’ (‘What is the special dish today?’). This ‘Khirapat’ is a special dish / dishes often made laboriously by the mother of the host girl. The food is served only after the rest of the girls have guessed the covered dish/dishes correctly.
Dashera festival was celebrated on 11th October. The children were told the importance of the festival as the stories related to Dashera. “Pati Pujan” was done signifying the importance of education .The celebration was followed by a feast of “Puran Poli”.
Vijayadasami also known as Dussehra an important Hindu festival celebrated in a variety of ways in India and Nepal. Dasa-hara is a form of Dasanan ravan (“Ravana’s defeat”). The day marks the victory of Shri Rama over Ravana in Treta Yuga. The day also marks the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura, in a later yuga (Dwapar yuga). The goddess fought with evil for ten days and nine nights.
Diwali was celebrated with great pomp and grandeur at Shreevatsa. The Gajanan mitra mandal decorated the premises for Diwali. The Shaniwar Peth Mehunpura Group, led by Parag Thakur and a few other Ganesh Mandals came to celebrate “Vasubaras” with the children. The Yuwa Vadya Pathak, and Vaibhav Wagh Group arranged the “Abhyang Snan” for the children. Laxmi pujan and Bahubeej were also celebrated traditionally. There was a funfair arranged for the children by the Gajanan Mitra mandal.
Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the major festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
On the “Kojagiri” evening a semi classical music program was arranged by the Dhaga Group. It was a musical recital of Sanika Goregaonkar & Suranjan Khandolkar. It was a fund raising program to make provision of milk for the children at Shreevatsa.
Donation by Syngenta
Dashera was followed by a generous donation from Sygenta Services Private Limited, Pune. Their team visited Shreevatsa on 21st October and interacted with the staff and children. They had arranged a picture quiz and a drawing competition for the children. The children were delighted to receive the gifts like sunglasses and toy mobile phones which they wanted. Mr. Ashutosh Pathak from Syngenta coordinated the program and Mr. Sanjeev Rastogi handed over the items to SOFOSH