Zest, efforts to fight pollution mark Dussehra

Various committees spent lakhs of rupees on fireworks that were spectacular and produced less sound and air pollution

The D-day of the 10-day festive affair saw the 10-headed demon being burnt down at various Ramlila pandals of New Delhi on Thursday. What differed, however, was the use of technique and technology. While many brought Ravana down using a remote control, others did it via custom-made arrow to hit the chakra in his belly.

An effigy of Corruption &  ten-headed demon king Ravana is burnt
marking the end of Dussehra festival  at Luv Kush Ramlila in New Delhi,
Thursday, . The festival commemorates the triumph of Hindu god Rama
over the demon king Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil.
Pic/Imtiyaz Khan

In a bid to culminate the festivity with the best fireworks, and yet keep the pollution levels down, the Sri Ramlila Samiti, Trans-Hindon, based their display on the lines of fireworks used during the Commonwealth Games.

The Purifying Fire: A Ravana effigy, symbolising corruption, burns
to ashes. Congress president Sonia Gandhi tries her hand with the bow
and arrow, at Sri Dharmik Ramlila, Red Fort, New Delhi on Thursday.
Pic/Imtiyaz Khan

"We had kept a budget of around Rs 3-4 lakh to produce fireworks like the ones displayed during the CWG opening and closing days. We contacted those people who were involved with the CWG, and they provided us with spectacular fireworks that emitted less sound and fumes," said K Hasan, organiser, Trans-Hindon Lila.

Meanwhile, Rahul Sharma, organiser of Nav Dharmik Nav Sri Dharmik Lila Committee, said, "This year, our fireworks' budget alone is around Rs 2-3 lakh. Also, we made it a point to use more low-intensity crackers."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were seen in the pandal
balconies of three famous shows at the Ram Lila Maidan, applauding as the effigies were put to flames. Also, Singh and Sonia shot arrows at the Ravana effigy in the Maidan.

NCR's one of the first-time Ramlilas, in Dwarka Sector 10, was a humongous affair with about 18 acres of land being decked up to accommodate around two lakh people. Also, they got a special arrow made that turned into a torch and hit the Ravana in the belly.

"We did the show on a large scale. The special arrow was made by artisans from Hyderabad," said Rajesh Gehlot, organiser and local councillor of Dwarka region.

To the marital abode
Thursday also brought to an end Durga Puja celebrated by the people of eastern India. The last day witnessed colourful scenes of Sindur Khela, when married women smear vermilion on one another and the Durga idol, as it is believed that the Goddess departs for her marital abode on this day. 

Burning log falls over child
A seven-year-old girl suffered critical burn injuries after a burning wooden log supporting a Ravana effigy fell over her at Ram Lila Maidan on Thursday evening.  She had gone along with her parents to see the celebrations, said police.

The incident took place at 7:15 pm. "A few other people also got injured but the girl is reported to be critical," said a fire brigade official.

She was rushed to the Lok Nayak Hospital immediately. Other people were discharged after first aid, said the official.

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