BRIGHT START TO THE NEW YEAR
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