Powai Bengali Welfare Association (PBWA), a charitable organization formed with the purpose of enhancing cultural and social harmony, will be organizing its fourth Durga Puja festival – Sarvajanin Durgotsav 2009 – at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, during September 23rd to 28th, 2009. The Durgotsav was first organized in 2006 and within a span of just four years, it has emerged as one of the biggest and most popular pujas in Mumbai.
Sarvajanin Durgotsav at Powai has won the hearts of Mumbaikars for its uniqueness and sense of community. One of the major and unique attractions – the first of its kind in Mumbai – is the novel natmancha that is constructed every year by master craftsmen from West Bengal. Following up on successfully replicating the famous Dakshineswar Temple, the Lotus Temple, and Belur Math respectively, in the first three years of the Puja that was much appreciated by one and all, the craftsmen this year are busy recreating the much acclaimed heritage of India, the Konarak Temple. The glorious deity of Goddess Durga is being created under the brand of the famed idol-maker, late Nemai Pal. Each year, Mumbaikars are mesmerized by the brilliant lighting, the marvellous Puja pandal, and the gorgeous idol, which together help to showcase the rich culture and tradition of West Bengal. Topping it all, the Powai Puja has become synonymous with the delicious community lunch (bhog) that is served with great enthusiasm on the three main days (Saptami, Ashtami and Navami) of the Puja to tens of thousands of visitors.
In line with the true spirit of the festival, the association has planned various cultural programs to fill the mornings and evenings with high quality entertainment. Apart from showcasing in-house talent through a variety of programmes, renowned singers Raghav Chatterjee and KK, and the always happening Bengali band Chandrabindu will be performing live during Saptami, Ashtami and Navami, respectively. Along with the evening programs, in line with the ethos of the Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav to involve the community at large in the festivities, various cultural programs are being planned in the morning as well through the “Mukto Mancha” that serves as a platform to showcase the talents of one and all present in the Pandal; extempore, skits, drawing competitions are few of the exciting events planned for the mornings of Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. The spirit of community will also be amply on display during the “Dhunuchi Naach” competition, an integral component of any Durgotsav celebrations, that brings about every year the enthusiastic participation of a large cross-section of visitors to the Puja premises.
A key initiative of the PBWA that has been taken up from last year is towards conducting a “Green Puja” to contribute in a small way to the larger cause of arresting environmental degradation. Specifically, arrangements are being made to minimize the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable and toxic materials during the Durgotsav.
In keeping with the primary objective of PBWA – that of taking up social initiatives to make a difference where it matters the most – the association has initiated Mission Swayam Siddha (MSS). Its objective is to empower economically and socially disadvantaged women of our society. Its core program is to recruit, train and motivate increasing numbers of women to work for MSS to achieve significant improvements in their overall living standards and social standing in life. During Sharadtsav, the products made by MSS trainees will be exhibited so as to familiarize and reach out to a wider section of people and motivate them to support the noble cause of women empowerment. PBWA’s commitment to social causes is also evident from the support it provides to several NGOs by inviting them to showcase their activities free of cost during the festivities.
The overwhelming success of the Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav in such a short period would not have been possible without the active and enthusiastic participation and support of one and all. Like every year, Durgotsav 2009, will be an event to remember for Mumbaikars. We invite all of you to please join the celebration with us.