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Over 52,000 Children, including more than 2,800 differently-abled Kids take part in Salwan Marathon in New Delhi

The Army Equestrian Centre, Brar Square at the Delhi Cantonment played the perfect host to the event and the enthusiasm of the children was palpable as they gave it their all

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Participants of the Salwan Marathon, 2014. Youtube
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New Delhi, November 06, 2016: Over 52,000 children, including more than 2,800 visually impaired and differently-abled kids, from all across the country took part in the Salwan Marathon held here on Sunday.

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The annual run brought together students from various schools across India. The event categorised participants in eight different categories — visually impaired, differently-abled (4.5 kms), Under 14 Girls and Boys (4.5 kms), Under 16 Girls and Boys (6 kms) and Under 18 Girls and Boys (8 kms) races.

The Army Equestrian Centre, Brar Square at the Delhi Cantonment played the perfect host to the event and the enthusiasm of the children was palpable as they gave it their all.

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The carnival-like atmosphere, with dhol, nagaras, a jazz band from Mount Saint Mary’s School, bhangra, magic shows, and the like, added their bit to add to the excitement. But it was serious business once the competition started where every participant wanted to express themselves.

Indian Olympians Shiva Thapa, one of India’s most exciting young boxers, and Manpreet Kaur, who is the Indian national record holder in shotput, added more sheen to the event as they took part in the race for visually impaired children as volunteers.

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Also present was Tarun Singh Gahlan, who is a visually impaired horse rider and singer, whose inspiring story moved everyone at the event. (IANS)

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  • Shivani Vohra

    That’s a great initiative to empower every kid.

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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