Rangolis are a great way to decorate open spaces during festivals but Shreyas Umbarkar from Abhinav Kalabharati, an organisation that engages the youth in social activities and in making rangoli designs during festivals, believes otherwise. “We want to pass on this tradition, get people together and talk about social causes through our designs,” says Umbarkar.
This year, Abhinav Kalabharati plans to make 10 different designs on the 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi. These rangoli designs will be seen at 15 different pandals including those of the five Manache Ganapati – Shree Kasba Ganapati Mandir, Tambdi Jogeshwari Mandir, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug Ganapati and Kesariwada Ganapati. “Every day there will be a different design at each pandal. We are trying to come up with out-of-the-box ideas in a way where we can talk about social issues like female foeticide, pollution in the environment, importance of blood donation and various other topics,” explains Umbarkar.
The organisation will have numerous groups under them that will go to different areas around Pune to design the rangoli. It will train around 250 people, belonging to different professions and age groups, on the various ways to design and shade in a single stroke to make a rangoli.
Umbarkar also talks about the seven different symbols that are used while making a rangoli and explains the meaning of each of them. “Firstly, there is the Bindu, which is a dot. It symbolises the start of something new or a beginning. The second symbol is a Resha, or a straight line. The straight line signifies the way we should be in our life and norms we should live by. Vartul is a circle and it means completeness. The fourth symbol is Kendra Vardhini, it symbolises planning and introspection. Sarpa Resha, the fifth sign looks like waves and means following a continuous process. The foot of a cow or Gopadma signifies the optimum use of things. The last symbol is the Shrunkhala. It is a continuous pattern which also shows a recurring process.”
Prior to this, Abhinav Kalabharati has also been involved in numerous other activities like teaching over a thousand students from the College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) how to design a rangoli. On April 2, these students got together to make the largest floating image, according to the Guinness World Records, that covers over 20,000 square metres.
They are going to start their practice sessions for this year’s Ganeshotsav rangoli on August 21.
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