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After Ganpati, Deepavali keeps Anna flame aglow

Clay figures of anti-Corruption crusader sold out in city as kids snap these up for their traditional Diwali fort models.

The Anna Hazare fever still rages on, with small clay figures of the anti-corruption crusader for children to place on the traditional fort models they build during Diwali selling like hot cakes this year. The clay creations are now out of stock as parents snapped these up for their young ones as fast as they arrived on shelves. The lucky ones who were able to get the Hazare figures will be placing these along with those of Shivaji Maharaj and his warriors on their forts.


Anna conquers a fort: Children hard at work making a model of a fort
with bricks, mud and gunny bags in the city


So high has been the demand that all Hazare figures were sold out when they hit the market last week. Before this, Hazare proved his popularity during the recent Ganeshotsav, when life-size figures of his were used as a part of the stage decorations by many Ganpati mandals eager to show their support for the social activist's Jan Lokpal bill crusade. Hazare became a household name in the country this year after he went on hunger strikes in Delhi to press for the Jan Lokpal bill to check corruption in the corridors of power.


A clay figure of Anna Hazare that will be placed on the fort.
Pics/Vivek Sabnis


Cost no deterrent
Kiran Kurle, a seller and distributor of toy fort clay figures said Hazare's clay models were the prime attraction this year for children. "Though the clay models were costly, children pooled money to purchase these without a second thought," he said. Kurle said the figures of Hazare were not well finished, but just bore a resemblance to the activist with his trademark Gandhi cap.

"Hazare's clay figures were made by a Kolhapur-based artist and we only got 300 pieces, all of which were sold out in the first three days last week," Kurle said. "Each six-inch figure of Hazare was sold for Rs 150 as it was made with white soil, which is costlier than normal soil."

Malhari Sangale, a 12-year-old boy who purchased the last piece of Hazare's clay figure, said many of his friends envied him because there was not another piece to be had anywhere in the city. "Now my Kolhapur-based friend Sandeep is sending 10 Hazare figures to them by Tuesday, a day before Diwali," he said.

Kalesh Dake, a schoolboy from Kothrud, was happy that he could grab Hazare's clay figure for his own toy fort.
"I am sure people shall gather in large numbers to see my fort because of Hazare. I also have his cap saying 'I am Anna Hazare' with me," he said.

Braille 'Diwali special' issue released
THE 'Diwali special' issues of magazines are a treat for people during the Festival of Lights, and this time the first such Diwali Ank, as it is called in Marathi, in braille has been released. Called 'Mouse', the braille issue has been created by Mouse Multimedia and edited by Amruta Walimbe and Prashant Khunte.


It's Special: The first braille script Diwali Special magazine issue is
released by (from left)  Dr Madhavi Vaidya, visually challenged girl
Maithili Chavan and social worker Meera Badwe. Pic/Vivek Sabnis


It is among the over 300 Diwali special issues brought out in the city, Mumbai and other places in the state in the past three days. The issue was released by a visually challenged girl, Maithili Chavan, along with noted writer Dr Madhavi Vaidya, social worker Meera Badwe and Dalit writer Mohan Nanaware. "This issue shall reach over 1,500 blind people in Pune and the entire state," said Badwe.

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