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INDIAN FESTIVAL AND TRADITION OF NAVRATAS

Festival of Navratras is celebrated in India for nine continuous nights which are considered and believed to the most sacred period when Goddess Durga (Almighty Goddess Mother) blesses each and every one who prays Her sincerely and honestly. In Indian religion, there are many legends attached to this spiritual festival of Navratra. All of them are related to Goddess Durga, Incarnation of Shakti (Hindu Almighty Mother Goddess) and Her nine forms which are prayed in one way of the other by Hindus. In India this festival is celebrated in different styles.  
This festival falls twice. First time, it festival falls at the end of March or beginning of April every year. Second time it falls in September every year.
It is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindus living in Northern India. It also holds special significance in  Gujrat and Bengal and one can see it in the zeal and fervor of the people with which they indulge in the festive activities to celebrate Navratra. Dandiya and Garba Rass (dancing by men and women with wooden sticks in their hands which they strike against each other while dancing and singing) are the highlights of the festival in Gujarat.
It marks the augmentation of new season, farmers sow seeds and thank the Goddess for Her blessings and pray for better yield.

Goddess Durga is worshipped in nine forms in Navratras. In the first three days of Navratras, Goddess Durga, Warrior Goddess mounted on a Lion, dressed in red clothes is worshiped in Her various incarnations in these three days  which are  known as Goddess Kumari, Goddess Parvati and Goddess Kali  which are worshipped during first three days. They represent the three different classes of womanhood that include the Child, the Young Girl and Mature woman. During next navaratras Hindus pray Goddess Durga in the form of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity shown dressed in gold and mounted on an owl, and also as Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess Of Knowledge, shown dressed in milky white costumes mounted on a pure white swan with lute in Her hands.
Sweets and delicious deserts are prepared for the celebrations. Children and adults dress up in new bright-colored dresses for the night performances.

Many Hindus observe rigorous fasts during entire period of Navratras. The festival culminates on the day called as  Ram Navami. On this day, Hindus perfom Kanya Pujan with nine little girls (worshipping little girls symbolizes worshipping of nine forms of Goddess Durga). People with pure heart and soul invite these little nine girls to their homes, offer sacred place to sit, wash their feet with sacred water, put tika on their head (Hindu put red marks on their forehead which is called very auspicious and sacred) and then offer them good food, sweets, new clothes, other gifts and small money in the form of thank and seek their blessings while they depart from their homes.

May Goddess Durga bless the whole world with peace, prosperity and fraternity!
APPEAL TO THE WHOLE WORLD: SAVE GIRLS AS THEY ARE PEARLS….. AND THIS FESTIVAL MARKS THE IMPORTANCE OF GIRLS IN OUR SOCIETY SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL…….
EK Koshish one attempt
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CHILDREN AT EK KOSHISH CELEBRATING REPUCLIC DAY OF INDIA

We feel honoured when children from slums whom our organisation has been imparting educational training continuously, celebrated our Republic Day with great enthusiasm. The entire team of Ek Koshish took part in the celebration along with the children.

Ek Koshish organised a drawing compeition in which the children took part with great zeal and drew paintings of our National Flag with their wonderful imaginations. Really it was a great effort that these children were participating in any drawing competition for the first time in their life.

Some of the paintings made by these children:

Children singing ” Jhanda Uncha Rahe Hamara…”:

JAI HIND

Ek Koshish one attempt

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FESTIVALS OF LOHRI AND MAKAR SAMKRANTI
It is one of the most important festival of Northern India which is celebrated with utmost fanfare in traditional style. This festival is always celebrated on 13th January. Lohri  marks the end of winter season and it is the day when the sun changes its course also which is also called ‘Makar Samkranti’ which too is celebrated throughout India which marks the start of auspicious days. Makar Samkranti marks the transition of sun from Saggitarius to Capricorn during winter in the northern hemisphere which is called ‘Uttrayan’ (Sun starts moving towards northern side).  In Northern India It is called ‘Makar Samkranti and celebrated on 14th January.  In other parts of India, it is celebrated with different names like Pongal in South India, Bihu in North East India etc.  People who are inclined towards old traditions and religion, take a dip in the morning in the holy water of sacred rivers or ponds etc and worship the Sun to give them peace and prosperity. People also give charities to the poor and needy ones in the form of food, clothes and also money etc. These traditions are still alive and in small town and cities of India which are not fully affected by modernism, one can find stalls distributing hot food, clothes and money to the poor and needy ones on the day of Makar Samkranti.  This tradition is continuing since the time immemorial and finds its mention in our ancient scriptures as well.
As regards Lohri, it is a festival of Punjab in India and it has its origin in Punjab and nobody knows as to how it started and how old it is. There are various stories popular behind this festival.
Some people believe that it is related to the famous tale of a person namely ‘Dulla Bhatti’. Dulla Bhatti was a highway robber in Punjab during the reign of Akbar who was the emperor of India at that time in 16th Century. Dulla Bhatti used to rob the rich only for specific purpose to help the poor and needy with the money he robbed from the rich. He also used to rescue the girls who were kidnapped and taken forcibly for sale in  the slave markets of other neighbouring countries. He also used to give money to the parents of the rescued girls for arranging their marriage. As such he was a superman for the people of Punjab during that time.  That is why the most famous song of  Lohri  which everyone in India is well acquainted and sings with great zeal has his name in almost every line of the song to express gratitude to Mr Dulla Bhatti, a bandit by profession but a noble soul.
 When the festival of Lohri starts approaching in January, small groups of boys and girls knocks at the door of houses and start singing the famous song of Lohri i.e. “Chunri Munri ho, Tera Kaun Bichara ho, Dulla Bhatti wala ho………….”. People take it as auspicious if the groups of the little boys knocks their doors singing this song. In turn, people give them popcorn, peanuts, dry fruits, crystal sugar, sesame seeds (til), jaggry as well as coins. Though, in big cities, this tradition of boys knocking the doors on Lohri is getting reduced, but in small towns and cities of Punjab and Northern India, one can discern these things very easily for at least 15 days before the festival finally comes on 13th January.  
Some people are of the belief that the festival of Lohri has  its an other link. It has derived its name Lohri from the word  ‘Loi’ who was wife of a famous poet cum saint, Kabir Das who also lived during the period of Akbar in 16th century. In local Punjabi dialect, Lohri is pronounced as Lohi. Some people associate this festival with an other ancient legend of Holika, and Lohri is believed to be the sister of Holika. Holika was burnt in the holy fire by Hirnakashyap who was against even the recital of God’s name. Holika burnt in the holy fire but Lohri survived after that. And people celebrate this festival to remember her. As regards Holika, Hindus celebrate a separate festival for her holy sacrifice in the fire, called Holi which too is celebrated in the month of February or March every year. Holi is the festival of colors which is well known all over the world.
 
Celebration of Lohri is very simple but very attractive which tightens the relationship and emotional bonds between the people. Freinds, relatives and family members gather  in the open space in or outside home and light a bonfire at sunset. All sings together and move around the bonfire dancing, rejoing and chanting  Lohri songs. They also throw some peanuts, jiggery and sesame seeds (reoris) etc in the bonfire to worship it. In addition to this, they sit around this bonfire gossiping, cracking jokes, doing mimickery, singing songs, playing antakshri etc for hours making the atmoshpere more pleasant.This continues for 2-3 hours till 10-11 pm. Really It is fantastic to celebrate such festivals in India. Some people organise dinner etc on this occasion which adds to the celebration. In villages of Punjab, people celebrate this festival whole of the night.
May God bring peace, harmony and prosperity in the world ….. Let us do our Ek Koshish one attempt to make the world a single family through these festivals !
 Ek Koshish one attempt
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“Stop Sanitised Barbarism

Girls are Pearls, Save Them !!!

In its attempt to spread awareness in the society about the dangers of sex imbalance in the society due to increasing female infoeticide which was called “Sanitised Barbarism” in the decade of 1970s, Ek Koshish has orgainsed a drawing competition on the topic in which students at Ek Koshish and friends of the team of Ek Koshish participated. This was awarded as the best drawing:

 
Let Us Join Hands do Ek Koshish One Attempt – in Making the Most Sacred Place (Womb of a Mother) Safe for Innocent Girls before Their Appearance in This Beautiful World !!!!!

Ek Koshish one attempt

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CHILDREN PARTYING AT KE KOSHISH ONE ATTEMPT

EK KOSHISH One Attempt

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