High Swachh score, low on citizens’ confidence
Lucknow may have got a fair score in the Swachh Survekshan 2020 but discontent is palpable among citizens. While Lucknow Municipal Corporation has got the 12th rank in the survey out of 47 cities with a population above 10 lakh, it is far from enjoying people’s confidence. Nearly one-fourth of the citizens who voted in the cleanliness survey were not happy with the civic body’s works. The rankings were based on four parameters-direct observation, citizen feedback, service level progress, and open defecation-free (ODF) certification. Lucknow secured 79% points in the four categories.
One lakh recite Hanuman Chalisa, create record
In a bid to give mental strength to people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, one lakh people from 60 countries, including India, recited the Hanuman Chalisa simultaneously for 70 minutes on Independence Day to create a world record. The online event, organised by US-based organisation SiliconAndhra, was led by Swami Anand Giri, the chhote mahant of Prayagraj’s Bade Hanuman temple. Separate groups were formed through Zoom for the event. The Guinness Book of World Records team watched the event online and awarded the certificate, terming the attempt as successful and a new world record. Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy also attended the event online.
Online ‘majlis’ on this Muharram
After holding several rounds of talks, Lucknow finally will witness 60-minute online ‘majlis’ (sermon narrating the tragedy of Karbala) at seven imambaras of the city by prominent Shia clerics. The permission was only for 60-minute online majlis at seven imambaras which can be attended by a cleric and five other persons. Organisers will be held responsible if Covid-19 health and safety protocols are overlooked. The imambaras which have traditionally been holding sermons are Imambara Agha Baqar, Imambara Ghufranmaab, majlis at Shia College Nakkhas branch, Imambara Afzal Mahal, Imambara Nazim Sahab, Madrassa Nazmiya and Maqbara Saadat Ali Khan at Parivartan Chowk. There should be no communal statements and all rituals should be held within constitutional parameters.
Ganesh as the destroyer of coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this tear, but the Lord has appeared in many avatars across the city. While last year, over 100 pandals for Ganesh Puja were set up but large gatherings are not allowed this time. Struggling to make a living due to the situation, many artisans feel that they have to think differently to sell their products. Some have depicted Lord Ganesha as saviour and a destroyer of the deadly virus. Some have also portrayed him as the protector of Ladakh from evil forces. Others show him as the God of prosperity, some as blessing everyone for development.
Our correspondent in Uttar Pradesh namita.bajpai@newindianexpress