THIS GANESHOTSAV, devotees who haven’t memorised the Ganesh aarti need not go looking for a copy of the aarti sangrah — a booklet containing the aarti, which has shlokas recited daily during the ten-day festival. A smartphone application will now make it easier for them to remember the verses. With a website to showcase Ganpati Bappa from various homes online also in the works, the popular elephant-god is all set to go viral. Developed by the founder of Utsavaarambh — a social networking website connecting Ganesh mandals — the App is set to be launched on August 5.
Last year, the group had developed virtual reality applications for six major mandals across the city. Taking it ahead, the founders of the application claim the App will further help devotees get a better festival experience. “Our application named Majha Morya Aarti Sangrah, will contain all the aartis, shloks, pooja vidhi (practices) for Ganpati sthapana and also visarjan. We have been able to feed in up to 20 regularly sung aartis in the App till now. Users can make use of the section with the list of items (samagri) required for pooja,” Aniket Bilare, founder of the application said.
For Bilare, the application meant an efficient use of technology in ensuring that nobody misses out on religious practice. “In comparison to the religious knowledge of our previous generations, not all of us have memorised the aartis or shlokas. Also, not everyone takes the effort to buy the shloka book. The App will be a one-step tool to collect all the aartis and understand the words and their meaning,” Bilare added.
The App will also be tied-up with the organisation’s event called social media cha Raja, wherein they plan to request participants to share their household Ganpati decoration pictures. “These pictures will be posted on our social media platform and the one with maximum engagements will be elected as the winner of the competition. We also invite photographs of different Ganpatis on the site, from which we will choose the best,” he added.
The group also plans to create Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications for more than 15 popular Ganesh mandals in the city including Dongricha Raja, Fortcha Raja, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani and Girgaoncha Raja. The applications will also try to give messages on social causes such as women empowerment, saving the girl child and afforestation. “We are also planning to make a database of all dhol-tasha pathaks in the city. The aim is to ensure different talents associated with the religious cause come under one roof and are given exposure. People like photographers and artists who have previous work to show can associate themselves with this group,” Bilare added.
The future plans of the group include introducing an e-commerce application and website that will help devotees order the required samagris at home. The founders of the application later plan to enhance it by including aartis of Navaratri in it.