BRIGHT START TO THE NEW YEAR

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: PRA­FUL GANGURDE

Women take a selfie dur­ing a pro­ces­sion on the oc­ca­sion of Gudi Padwa — the Ma­ha­rash­trian New Year — in Thane on Fri­day.

Res­i­dents cel­e­brated Gudi Padwa, the Ma­ha­rash­trian New Year, with dhol-tasha on Fri­day morn­ing. Cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions, vol­un­teers from dif­fer­ent groups and res­i­dents came to­gether for pro­ces­sions across the city.

As the state reels un­der a se­vere drought, most or­gan­i­sa­tions spread the mes­sage of sav­ing wa­ter through the pro­ces­sions.

The big­gest Shobha Ya­tra was held in Pan­vel by Nava Var­sha Swa­gat Samiti which has been or­gan­is­ing the rally for the past 18 years. Over 24 so­cio-cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions and around 1,600 peo­ple joined the pro­ces­sions and spread aware­ness on so­cial is­sues such as sav­ing the girl child and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We started our rally from Kanya Vidyalaya and ended at Veer Savarkar Chowk. We had women from 20 groups of jhaanjh pathaks per­form­ing on folk songs. Around 100 chil­dren par­tic­i­pated in Bichri, a tra­di­tional form of dance and aer­o­bics,” said Avinash Koli, sec­re­tary of Nava Var­sha Swa­gat Samiti.

The rally showcases Ma­ha­rash­trian cul­ture. There were dhol tashas and lezim per­for­mances. A spe­cial chi­tra rath was pre­pared for the oc­ca­sion to cre­ate aware­ness on the theme of wa­ter con­ser­va­tion. Stu­dents held plac­ards and posters, con­vey­ing the need to save wa­ter.

Amit Vaze, chair­man of Ut­sav Samiti, said: “The Shobha Ya­tra is be­ing held for the past 19 years and is a pres­ti­gious event in the re­gion.”

Around 250 mem­bers of the Bharat Apart­ment Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Mahila Sangh in Vashi took out a pro­ces­sion from Bharat Apart­ments in Sec­tor 10, Vashi, to Gaon­devi Tem­ple Chowk and back to Shabri Ho­tel in Sec­tor 9.

“Ev­ery year we spread so­cial mes­sages on Gudi Padwa through pro­ces­sions. This year, it was ‘Save Wa­ter’ con­sid­er­ing the dire need to use wa­ter ju­di­ciously,” said San­jay Meher, mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Chil­dren dressed as Jay Mal­har, Shivaji Ma­haraj and Bal Gane­sha also stole the show.

In Kharghar, the Marathi Foun­da­tion be­gan a pro­ces­sion with over 600 peo­ple join­ing in.

“We as­sem­bled at Hyde Park in Sec­tor 35 and per­formed Gudi Puja be­fore be­gin­ning the pro­ces­sion. We had sev­eral per­for­mances such as lezim and malkhamb in the pro­ces­sion,” said a mem­ber of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee.

In Sea­woods, mem­bers of Sea­woods Res­i­dents’ Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion started their pro­ces­sion from Sec­tor 48.

In Be­la­pur, Nava Barsa Shobha Ya­tra Manch be­gan its pro­ces­sion from Kal­i­mata Tem­ple in Sec­tor 8. Chil­dren showed off their ac­ro­bat­ics skills and per­formed lezim while women played tra­di­tional games like phugdi.

SHIVAJI CHOWK, VASHI

PAN­VEL

PHO­TOS: BACHCHAN KU­MAR

VASHI

JUINA­GAR

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