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Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganpati aala re!

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By Ridham Gambhir

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New Delhi:  When the streets of Mumbai are flooded with people and not rain and hues of red and yellow fill the welkin, we know the birthday of our beloved elephant-headed god is here! Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi,  is a 10-day long festival that is celebrated with much zeal in Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, the celebration is not limited to just these two states in India, as migration has taken the festival to other places as well.

Historically, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were initiated in Maharashtra by Chatrapati Shivaji and has continued ever since. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known by the name of Lokmanya Tilak, is attributed with making the festival popular during the freedom struggle, and later giving it the festival a, somewhat, national identity.

This grand birthday commences with artistic idols, in various hues and colours, ranging from 6 inches to 70 feets (even higher), being made and erected at public places. These huge structures, often decorated with flowers, leaves, coloured paper and LED bulbs, are known as pandals.  Modak, a round shaped sweet made from khoaa (prepared by continuously boiling the milk) and dry fruits, remains the most widely prepared and distributed sweet dish, hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa and Upanishads, are continuously chanted.

The contemporary celebrations include installations of clay or plastic idols of the deity in public (or even private spaces) wherein the idol is worshipped for a span of 10 days. On day 11, the idol is immersed in a water body to observe Ganesh’s farewell. The ritual is known as Ganesh Visarjan.  The process witnesses multitude of people  swinging and gyrating to dhol beats.

This 10-day merry making is not simply a festival. It is an economic activity on which depends the livelihood of many12033600_10200988364227217_28286165_n

artistes and businessmen. In accordance with the local civic body, a total of  1, 91,000 idols were installed across the city in 2014; out of which, 10,350 were at Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandals and 1,80,650 belonged to locals.

The magnanimity of this event is experienced the most at Lalbaugcha Raja, which is the most famous Sarvajanik Ganapati. The idol placed here meets  maximum devotees during this 10-day period.

However, if we cast the festival revelry aside, the environment is damaged to quite an extent. The idols, which are made of non-biodegradable materials such as PoP (Plaster of Paris), when immersed hit the marine life adversely and cause a great deal of  harm to the water quality, aquatic life and bodies.

While ‘To Make a Difference’ (TMAD), a Bengaluru-based organisation, delivers eco-friendly Ganesha idols at your doorstep, another Mumbai-based NGO has launched the #GodSaveTheOcean campaign.  The organization manufactures 9-inch Ganesha idols that are ocean-friendly.

Ganesh Chaturthi  is a festival of vigor and enthusiasm and much awaited too. So, celebrate the days wholeheartedly and in an eco-friendly manner!

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Swiggy to use digital payments for delivery fleet

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to "change the way India eats" and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others

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Another step towards digitizing India
Encouraging Digital Transactions by exempting service tax on Cards (Wikimedia commons)
  • Swiggy is an online food ordering platform
  • It will now allow digital payments for delivery feet
  • this method will prevent any leakage in cash payment process

Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy on Monday said it would use privately-run ICICI Bank to allow its delivery fleet to make digital payments.

“Through the use of Unified Payment Interface (UPI)-based solution for instant fund transfers and automated cash deposit machines at ICICI Bank branches and ATMs across the country, the delivery fleet will have a hassle-free way of transferring funds,” the company said in a statement. Swiggy operates with a fleet of over 20,000 delivery persons delivering food from over 25,000 restaurants across 12 cities.

These digital payments will prevent leakage in cash payments. Wikimedia Commons

With cash-on-delivery being a widely used method of payment on the platform, the digital payment methods allow the delivery men to quickly transfer the funds to Swiggy, saving their time, according to the statement.

“With the delivery fleet being the backbone of Swiggy, the adoption of the digital payment solutions will support the ease of operations and save their time and thousands of kilometres of travel,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rahul Bothra in the statement. The digital payment methods will also help in preventing any cash leakages, the company said.

Also Read: Rise Of Digital Media Unstoppable: Experts 

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to “change the way India eats” and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others. IANS

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