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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Freedom fighters show the way

Kasturi Bagwe, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 01, 2009
First Published: 01:36 IST(1/9/2009) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(1/9/2009)
Meet the architects of our freedom struggle and learn the social messages they preached and practised at this mandal in Parel.

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In its 56th year, the G.D. Ambedkar Marg Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has brought back to life the freedom fighters and their social messages through a 12-minute audio-visual show.

The show, prepared by 15 volunteers of the mandal, has messages from leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. It questions the common man’s obedience towards the beliefs and values preached by these freedom fighters. Statues of freedom fighters also been erected next to the 9-ft Ganesh idol.

“Our main aim is to bring a change in the mindset of the common man. Every year, we try to throw light on issues involving him,” said Sanjay Shelke, mandal president.

“We believe that more than the government or other authorities, it is the duty of the common man to be the change he wants to see,” Shelke added.

One instance from the show states that Lokmanya Tilak had started Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav to bind the society together. However, the festival has lost its quintessence is lost because of commercialisation and the show holds man responsible for all his sufferings.

The show also tries to illustrate reactions of these architects towards the irresponsible behaviour of the masses.

This year, the mandal organised Aids and swine flu awareness programmes for devotees, along with other cultural and entertainment events. It also held an anaemia camp for women. But limited sponsors and lack of donation has put a ceiling on its activities.

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