Nagpur: The members of Rani Laxmibai Durga Utsav Mandal have been successfully organizing the Navratri festival since last nine years with massive participation of citizens, generally from entire city, and particularly from West Nagpur area. Every year, they organize a slew of socio-cultural and religious programmes depicting issues like India’s freedom struggle, illiteracy, autism, environment and child labour among others.
They also dedicate the event to noted freedom fighters, every year. They set up their pictorial gallery depicting their immense contribution to country’s freedom struggle. They wish to give a fitting tribute to revolutionary freedom fighters, whose efforts played a significant role in India achieving independence from the oppressive British regime.
This year, the Rani Laxmibai Durga Utsav Mandal would be paying tributes to Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak for his crucial role in shaping up nation’s independence movement and his gift of Ganesh festival to the country. They would be showcasing his life’s journey through a pictorial gallery and also audio-visual system. Last year, they had depicted life sketch of revolutionary freedom fighter Swatantraveer Savarkar. The pictorial gallery and socio-cultural programmes is their USP as no other Mandal in entire Vidarbha engaged in such noble ventures.
Like the trend every year, this year too, they would be hosting a variety of cultural programmes where acclaimed artists like Anuradha Paudwal and Antara Mitra (Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua Fame) would be performing live during the festival with their troupes. Additionally, noted Marathi actor Sharad Ponkshe would be speaking on Lokmanya Tilak and his contributions to the freedom struggle, in his inimitable style that mesmerizes the audience.
Dr Sanjay Upadhaya of Gappashtak fame would be delivering a lecture on ‘Bhagvadgita & its reality’. Well known troupe of classical dancer Sonia Parchure from Mumbai, who is associated with our Mandal since last few years, would be staging a popular play titled ‘Parinat Kawan Janamla’. Dr Smita Mahurkar, from Nagpur, would be performing popular solo act on ‘Black & White Rainbow’.
Apart from this, there will be events like ‘Maha Garba’, ‘Nav Chandi Yadnya’ and cultural programmes, which are regular features of our Mandal since its inception in 2006, and much popular among the locals.
They also aim to create awareness among the youths, who’re nowadays, increasingly addicted to western lifestyle, about rich culture and heritage of our great nation through our events. During festivities, their venue witnessed a footfall of over 5,000 on nine days every year.
They are indeed privileged to have got good media coverage across all platforms for all their activities, ever since their inception. In fact, good media coverage is one of the factors that catapulted their Mandal to present form and its growth over the years.
Ever since its inception in 2006, Rani Laxmibai Durga Utsav Mandal, conducts and supports various socio-cultural activities throughout the year like visiting ‘Matoshree Old Age Home’ near Adasa and helping them with medicines and food grains, visiting ‘Platform School’ and helping the children with books and study material, cleaning the Laxmi Nagar Volleyball Ground by members themselves, after the festival, under ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and setting up artificial tanks on Laxmi Nagar Ground for immersion of Ganesh Idols to save the precious water bodies from getting polluted every year. Even their members celebrate birthdays of their kids and other functions at these places with a view to lend a helping hand to them, emotionally and financially, as a part of their social responsibility. Additionally, they also conduct blood donation and tree plantation camps every year which evokes an overwhelming response from the locals.
In 2014, they had invited ‘Sanmvedna School of Autism’ that works for autistic (Divyang) children, to partner them in the event, as a part of our social responsibility. They helped them to raise the funds for poor autistics kids from their platform. Last year, they had associated with Matoshree Old Age home, to raise the funds for them.
Fittingly, a host of dignitaries and celebrities make a point to visit their Mandal every year. It included, Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Former MP Vijay Darda, Former Bollywood Star Asha Parekh, renowned cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar, Journalist Dwarkanath Sanzgiri, noted singer Milind Ingle (Gartva fame), Sa re Ga Ma fame singers Rahul Saxena and Vaishali Made, Marathi actress Kishori Shahane, Mayor Pravin Datke, renowned homoeopath Dr Vilas Dangre, Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti, Marathi actor Rahul Solapurkar, actor and orator Sharad Ponkshe, singer Shravani Ravindra, singer Vaishali Samant (Dhagala Lagli Kala fame), actor Vijay Kadam and Sandip Pathak, MLC Anil Sole, and others.