Indore: The city glittered with earthen lamps and lights as Indoreans celebrated the festival of lights ‘Diwali’ with fervour on Saturday. From the Rajwada palace to the tiny block houses, every building shone in newer colours and decorations.

Praying to Goddess Lakshmi in offices, homes and temples, devotees offered sweets and other edibles to the goddess. Citing that many people who are underprivileged and could not celebrate the fest like every year, several organisations came forward and distributed alms among them.

Some people chose to spread smiles to senior citizens, while some reached out to specially-abled children. Indoreans did not leave any stones unturned when it came to spreading light to every household in the city.

Grand celebrations marking Diwali were held in several Mahalaxmi temples in the city. Serpentine queues with social distancing were seen in these temples since early morning as people gathered to start their festivities after offering their prayers to the Goddess.

Worship in temples

In Iskcon temple, a two-day special celebration began on Sunday evening. Chairman of the temple committee Swami Mahaman Das said that satsang and bhajan are the easiest way to spread happiness and cheer.

In the evening, the temple was lit with earthen lamps and decorated with lotus flowers. Govardhan Puja and Annakoot Festival will be celebrated on November 16 in Isckon temple.

Maha-aarti was organised at Mahalaxmi temple in Geeta Bhawan campus. About ten thousand devotees stood in queues for ‘darshan’ during the day. Gita Bhavan Trust President Gopaldas Mittal shared special floral decoration along with colourful lights was prepared by members to celebrate Diwali. Annakoot Festival will be celebrated on November 15 here.

Ashish Goyal, founder of the organization Agar Manch, said that Kuldevi Maa Lakshmi and Maharaja Agrasen were worship by thousands of devotees and priests on Diwali. An aarti was performed at the Agrasen statue as well.

Queues were seen outside Mahalaxmi temple in Mahalaxmi Nagar. Priest Girish Dubey shared that 56 bhog (food items) will be prepared and offered to the goddess on Sunday. Bhajan, darshan and aarti were performed on Saturday.

On Saturday, 56 bhog was offered at the Mahalakshmi temple in Rajwada. Mahalakshmi temple in Rajwada is of special significance to Indoreans.

This temple is a symbol of reverence of Holkar princely state and has great significance for the people of Indore as well. This temple was built by Malharrao (II) in 1832. In 1933, it was a three-floor temple that was destroyed by fire. The temple was renovated in 1942.

Head priest of the temple Bhanuprakash Dubey shared that throughout the day, a long queue of devotees stood outside.

Lord Dhanvantari was anointed with Panchamrit and herbs in the morning at the Dhanvantari temple at Ada Bazar.

Goddess Lakshmi in Mahalakshmi temple, Usha Nagar glittered in Zari-Gote sari.

In Khajrana temple, special worship and decoration was organised for goddess Lakshmi. “We offered sweets to lord Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi following a ritualistic worship on Diwali. Devotees thronged the temple throughout the day, waiting in queues for darshan,” Satpal Bhatt, head priest of Khajrana, said.

A group photo of sanitation workers with group members
A group photo of sanitation workers with group members

Sharing the light with less-recognised Corona warriors

Saluting the sanitation workers, who have been corona warriors and have ensured better health of Indore’s citizen by keeping our surroundings clean, Namo Namo Shankara organised special event to make their Diwali special.

“They have been corona warriors and led us to becoming the cleanest city of the country, yet, many of them are not privileged in monetary terms,” Pankaj Fatechandani, president of the organisation, said.

Hence, the group prepared special Diwali kits for them. With cash, sweets, lamps, oil, firecrackers and goodies, the kit was distributed to over 100 sanitation workers.

“The light is truly a smile and if our little efforts can spread this light, then at least on Diwali, we must do it,” members Harish Dawani, Ashok Khubani, Gagan Khubani, Chandra Khatri, Sakshi Vyas and Damini Birthare said.

Celebrations at old age home in Katju colony
Celebrations at old age home in Katju colony

Earning blessings, spreading smiles

Diwali is a time to pay respect and spread light bringing smiles to everyone around. Sindhi community members including MP Shankar Lalwani danced, distributed presents and sung with senior citizens.

The community members organised the celebrations at an old age home run by Pujya Ropah Trust in Katju Colony. Organisers Hemant Chhabria and Naresh Fundwani said that blessings are the biggest gift, which we can get only by making someone truly happy.

“Senior citizens have taught us the way of life, we cannot forget them ever and especially on days like Diwali,” Jayashree Virani and Lalchand Chhabra, said.

Vijay Kalra, Saroj Moolchandani, Pawan Budhlani, Manish Talreja, Anil Lokwani, Prakash Keswani and other social workers distributed clothes, sweets, biscuits, etc. along with other gift items to the senior citizens.

Group of youngsters with specially-abled children
Group of youngsters with specially-abled children

Making it special for the ‘special ones’

A group of youngsters decided to make this Diwali special with specially-abled children. With some goodies and lots of time, the group celebrated Diwali with specially-abled children at Saraswati Sanskar Bal Kalyaan Samiti in Indore, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Neemuch, Jhabua and other districts.

Leading the group Gulshan Joshi said, “We provided ration, sweets, firecrackers and earthen lamps to the families to ensure that they can enjoy Diwali with fervour.”

Bramhakumaris lighting the lamp
Bramhakumaris lighting the lamp

Lighting the lamp for peace & healing

Bramhakumaris in Indore came together and lit a lamp with prayers for the world to be healed from coronavirus at Om Shanti Bhavan on Diwali. “The lights in Deepawali festival, symbolise awakening self and if work on it, we can make a better world,” Hemlata Didi, Chief Regional Coordinator of Indore Zone, said.

“Be happy and share happiness with others, speak sweetly with your mouth, wear new sanskar and drapery for the new world, then our life will become a celebration,” Anita Didi said giving her best wishes.

NGO members donating immunity boosting kits
NGO members donating immunity boosting kits

Protect the little ones

An NGO headed by Burhanuddin Shakurwala and Rajendra Asawa donated fruits, dry fruits and other Diwali presents for orphans to State Child Protection Ashram located in the cantonment area.

“Those children who do not have parents to care for, they have suffered malnutrition and aggravated trouble due to coronavirus outbreak and we want to help them become healthier by providing them nutritious food,” Shakurwala said.

Inder Kumar Sethi and Gopal Rathi, who operate the ashram said, “All the children here have suffered a lot due to coronavirus outbreak and unlike others, they did not have parents to help them built immunity.”

This Diwali, they urged people to help them by donating alms and further, spending tie with them.

Celebrating with jail inmates
Celebrating with jail inmates

Giving hope to jail inmates

Celebrating with jail inmates, Krishna Guruji Welfare Society held Diwali celebrations citing the importance of inclusion and healing. “We need to work on healing people even while we punish them, so that they can see the light even when the future seems dark,” Krishna Mishra, founder of society, said.

He attempted to motivate inmates and give them hope with possibilities of their better future. “One of the most appropriate days to mark victory over these evils hidden within us, is Narak Chaturdashi,” Mishra said.

He added that power in us can be ignited for the elimination of negative traits on this day. Yogesh Bajaj distributed essential items for women to inmates.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal