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450-yr-old festival in Chinchwad gets a green touch

A group of ornithologists has decided to use the platform to create awareness about the environment

Written by Garima Rakesh Mishra | Pune |
November 22, 2014 5:21:45 am
The 10-day festival will be held next month (Source: Express Archive) The 10-day festival will be held next month (Source: Express Archive)

Over the past few years, a group of city-based ornithologists working actively towards conservation of rivers have been witnessing the large-scale annual festival — Morya Gosavi Sanjivan Samadhi Mahotsav — that has been celebrated for over 450 years in Chinchwad. The 10-day fest gets more than 10,000 attendees every day who participate in various events that revolve around spiritual stories and songs. This year, however, the group has decided to use the platform to create awareness about environment.

Dinesh Gapchoop, one of the group members, said, “Unlike earlier, Pimpri Chinchwad is now packed with many industries and dense residential complexes. The pollution created by this rapid growth has severely affected the biodiversity in the vicinity. Yet, surprisingly local bird watchers have recorded almost 175 different bird species across the city in the past five years. A number of migratory birds are sighted near Pavana River every year, despite it being polluted. We want people to realise that the city can be a home to many more such birds if they start taking care of the environment.”

As the festival is celebrated on the banks of Pavana River, the group decided to come up with a photo exhibition revolving around the river. Without charging any entry fee, the group is inviting general public to contribute photographs on the topic – Birds of Pavana. The photos will be showcased at the photo exhibition to be organised by the group along with the cooperation of the Chinchwad Deosthan Trust. The exhibition will be held from December 8- 10 at Shri Moraya Gosavi Mandir Ground. “The idea is to get people closer to the river around which the place is situated,” says Gapchoop. The others who have been working towards the initiative are Yuvraj Patil and Umesh Waghela. Along with some more individuals, they have formed an informal group called Pavana Mula Indrayani Group, under which they conduct several activities that revolve around the conservation of rivers.

Apart from the photo exhibition, there will also be a narrative musical programme to be rendered by kirtankar Vishwas Kulkarni, who will presenting an item that will recite what various saints have said about saving the environment. “As the festival is religious and spiritual in nature, it will be apt to address the audience in the same medium; the audience will be able to relate with the cause, as they will be presented through the teachings of the saints. There is a possibility of them adopting eco-friendly measures in their respective lives,” explains Gapchoop.

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