Wednesday April 1, 2020
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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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Amazon Web Services Cancels Flagship Summit in India Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Realme on Tuesday announced to cancel their product launch events in India this month owing to the growing COVID-19 fears

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AWS
"Due to the continued concerns about COVID-19, Amazon Web Services has cancelled the AWS Mumbai Summit scheduled for April 7-9 in Mumbai," an AWS spokesperson said in a statement. Wikimedia Commons

Retail giant Amazon’s Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Wednesday announced it has cancelled its flagship Summit in India owing to the growing new coronavirus concerns. AWS was scheduled to organise the summit in Mumbai from April 7-9.

“Due to the continued concerns about COVID-19, Amazon Web Services has cancelled the AWS Mumbai Summit scheduled for April 7-9 in Mumbai,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement.

“We’ve reached this decision after much consideration, as the health and safety of our employees, customers, and partners are our top priority,” the spokesperson added.

Most of the companies are avoiding large gatherings as new coronavirus can spread faster in such settings.

AWS
Retail giant Amazon’s Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Wednesday announced it has cancelled its flagship Summit in India owing to the growing new coronavirus concerns. AWS was scheduled to organise the summit in Mumbai from April 7-9. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Realme on Tuesday announced to cancel their product launch events in India this month owing to the growing COVID-19 fears.

While Xiaomi was set to launch a new Redmi Note series on March 12, Realme was set to showcase Realme 6 and 6 Pro series on March 5.

ALSO READ: Microsoft and Accenture Team Up to Encourage Entrepreneurs

Both the events are now ‘digital-only’ ones and people can watch the live stream on social media channels and on their websites. (IANS)