Monday, February 7, 2011

Basant Panchami with a difference in Fazilka

Residents to fly kites with messages demanding district status & check on femicide 
Chander Parkash/TNS

Kites will propagate a social message in Fazilka.

Fazilka, February 6
Basant Panchami, the fifth day of the spring season, which is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and associated with kite flying, has a different meaning for the residents of this border town and its surrounding areas this season.

Hundreds of residents of the area and members of different teams, who would participate in the first ever kite festival being held on February 8, i.e., Basant Panchami, would spread a different kind of message to motivate people apart from rejoicing by keeping alive the tradition by flying kites.

Kites of all shapes, sizes and colours would hang in the air and would dot the skyline over the Fazilka town, bordering Pakistan. The occasion which would witness the participation of girl students of different schools and colleges, members of different organisations, which participated in the agitation launched for getting district status for this town and about 80 teams from various places.

"We have been trying to ensure the participation of kite fliers from various towns of Rajasthan and Haryana, which are located close to this town as a large section of population of these towns share a common culture and observe almost the same rituals," disclosed Navdeep Asija, Secretary (Administration), Graduate Welfare Association Fazilka, adding that this would bring a new kind of harmony among them.

He added that the main attraction of the festival would be that the kites would carry a printed message for according district status to Fazilka town, which came into existence about 165 years ago and was in the process of developing as a major tourist hub.

The other message, which was most important and was the need of the hour, would be to spread awareness among people about the evils of female foeticide. The kites would also carry printed messages against this social evil. All the inmates of the old age home had been invited to watch or participate in the kite festival so that they could also relive those moments again in the autumn of their lives.

"We will also try that no one, who participates in the kite festival, should use China-made string, which has become a major source of injuries to human beings and cattle," Asija claimed, adding that personnel from the Army and the BSF had also been invited for the festival.

Sushil Gumber, Convener, Sanjha Morcha, which carried out a long agitation for getting district status for Fazilka town, said that so far, he had not got any invitation for joining the kite festival. But he would love to join in the festivities for creating a movement in favour of granting district status to Fazilka.

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