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21-year-old Maharashtra Farmer’s Daughter Ends life to save Dad from Debts related to her Marriage

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Farmers in the field (representative Image), Wikimedia
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Latur (Maharashtra), April 15, 2017: On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a Rs 1 crore prize to a 20-year-old Latur woman for a digital transaction, another young woman from the district ended her life by jumping into a well as her father could not afford her marriage expenses, officials said.

The 21-year-old victim was Shital Vyankat Vayal, a resident of Bhise-Wagholi village, who had completed her Secondary School Certificate three years ago. Her death has added a whole new dimension to the ongoing socio-agrarian crisis gripping Maharashtra.

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On Friday morning, Shital jumped into a well in her own farmland. But the real story emerged after a suicide note was recovered by her family.

In the note, she has recounted how her parents are very poor and did not have money to organise her marriage.

“I am ending my life to ease my father’s financial burden and eliminate the practice of dowry in my Maratha-Kunbi community,” said Vayal in simple but touching words, sending shockwaves in state political circles.

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“Since the past five consecutive years, due to crop failure, our family’s financial condition has become extremely delicate. Yet my two sisters were married off in a very modest manner,” she wrote.

“For my marriage, my father has been making continuous efforts… but since no loans are available from moneylenders or banks, my marriage has been postponed for over two years,” her note of anguish said.

“Hence, in order to ease the burden on my father, and to end the practice of ‘devan-ghevan’ (dowry) in the Maratha community, I am ending my life. My family and myself should not be accused in any manner,” she said.

Villagers said that Shital had been getting many proposals for marriage, but the family declined them as they could not afford to raise money for the dowry and marriage expenses.

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Barely hours after her death, in Nagpur, Modi felicitated electrical engineering student Shraddha Mengshete of Latur. She bagged the Rs 1 crore Mega Draw for Lucky Grahak Yojana for a Rs 1,590 transaction through her RuPay card to pay an EMI for her new mobile phone.

As the reasons behind Shital’s death came out, top Congress leaders proceeded to visit her family on Saturday.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar attacked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for not announcing a farm loan waiver package, which the opposition parties are demanding since long.

“He (Fadnavis) says it will be announced at an appropriate time… When will that time come?” demanded Pawar.

The Congress, NCP, and other opposition parties have launched the second phase of their ongoing ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ across Maharashtra from April 15 for the specific demand of writing off all farm loans on the lines of Uttar Pradesh.

The opposition parties had agitated during the entire budget session for the same amidst turmoil, suspensions of 19 Congress-NCP legislators (later revoked), processions and other forms of protest.

This is the second similar incident in the village where 18-year-old Mohini Bhise ended her life in January 2016, as her father couldn’t afford to collect dowry for her marriage.

A brilliant student, Mohini hanged herself at home after penning a suicide note, questioning why the menace of dowry prevailed in her community despite a legal ban on it. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC