Centenary Ganesh Festival
August 31, 1992 to September 10,1992 the 11 days
that proved historical and memorable for the Keshavji Naik Chawls.
As regards, the entire 1992 was significant for the present and past residents
of the chawls. It was essential to celebrate the centenary of the first
Ganesh festival in Mumbai on a grand scale.
Our centenary celebrations did not remain restricted
to the 10 days of the festival; they actually started in the previous
year and went on for an entire year. The festival was formally inaugurated
on Vijayadashmi (Dussera). There were Eight Programmes held during
this period, which received great response from locals and well-wishers.
The programmes included a Traditional Musical Programme presented
by Ashok Hande and his group, a 'Rangoli' Competition
and Exhibition, a Lecture Series on the English language
by Prof Manohar Kochrekar, the Lokmanya Vyakhyanmala
(a series of five lectures), a Drawing Competition, a
Medical Camp, a Lecture on the Union Budget for the year
and the grand finale in the form of the 10-day festival.
|A programme that needs
special mention here is the one on the English language which went
on for 50 consecutive days. Prof. Kochrekar who taught English to
all those who cared to attend it showed genuine concern to impart
knowledge. His selflessness and down-to-earth nature should inspire
all Sanshta activists.
On August 1, 1992 (on the death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak),
we added something unique to the history of the festival. We brought
out a book called 'Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Shatakachi Vatchal'
(Public Celebration of Ganesh Festival, a journey of 100 years). It
takes a look at the religious, cultural, social, political and economic
aspect of the Sarvajanik Ganesh Festival in the last 100 years.
These programmes were conducted successfully. But much more enthusiasm
was seen during the actual festival. Everyone from small children
to old people-contributed to it and the festival was a grand success.
During the 10 days of our centenary festival, thousands of people,
from different castes and communities, even celebrities from different
fields, queued up to have a Darshan. The beautiful idol of Shree
Ganesh, the ambience of a temple and a Wada from the Peshwa era
and the decoration in the mandap were really eye-catching. All
the programmes during these 10 days were conducted in the most
efficient and disciplined manner.