If Durga Puja brings to mind images of fun, food, and festivity, the Spandan Foundation’s Powai Sharadotsav has meticulously added a dash of humanitarian passion to that picture with a deft touch of creativity. Therefore, this 11th year of Festival with a Purpose will attach to Mumbai’s kaleidoscope of festivals another new cause. With #PossibleTogether as their theme, the Spandan Foundation shall champion the cause of “Strength of Unity” and showcase several of their humanitarian initiatives at the 11th Powai Sharadotsav between October 20th and 24th, 2023.
Since its inception, the Spandan Foundation’s “Festival with a Purpose” has been the platform to promote causes such as women’s empowerment, enabling the differently abled, reviving India’s art and craft heritage, caring for our senior citizens, nature conservation, and unity in diversity. This year, Spandan will carry that torch with its newly launched wing, Spandan CARES, and initiatives in education and training, community healthcare, and caring for nature. At Powai Sharadotsav, we will have an NGO Pavilion with various NGO’s associated with Spandan showcasing their work.
With Kolkata Durga Puja being recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage Event by UNESCO, the décor of the 11th Powai Sharadotsav will depict the traditional Idol set in a Thakur dalan in a quintessential Rajbari with the eco-friendly Solar Kaaj.
POWAI SHARADOTSAV 2023: HIGHLIGHTS
In a world besieged with various forms of problems and maladies, #PossibleTogether is a beacon of hope, a mission of charity, and a vision of a better world. #PossibleTogether draws its inspiration from the very concept of Ma Durga, who is the embodiment of the combined energy of the entire Godhood. It also reminds us of our historic independence movement, which was basically a people’s movement.
Our Durga Idol, designed in-house as always, projects the image of graceful Shakti in an elegant traditional format while being energetic and focused. She represents positivity and all-overcoming Shakti, or the power of unity. Our mandir design also highlights the classic blend of art and nature, the unity of Prakiti (nature) and Purush (haman). You would find careful blending of the solid rock with the delicate touch of filigree, the mighty elephants in harmony with the wise owl. The all-dazzling white decoration of Sola, made from the core of marshy reeds that grow wild in southern Bengal, is going to be a prime attraction. This is one of the most beautiful eco-friendly decoration materials ever, and with a hint of Swadeshi (flashback 1905–20), it’s just the right candidate to fit into our #PossibleTogether theme.
Our vibrant festivity would be back on the puja ground, with 3 nights of Dhunuchi Nach (including a grand finale of 10 dancers dancing in unison), 3 days of Bhog Prasad (free community lunch), Mukto Mancho (the open stage afternoon special with competitions and performances), all-inclusive Sindoor Khela (the joyous celebration of Bengal women), and Spandan’s vibrant cultural programs.
With two dramas, two Musicals and a dance show, the Spandan Talent House is ready to explode into the horizons of festivity. And not to forget our full complement of guest artists. This year, we will have the extremely talented Agnee Band (from Pune) rock the Mumbai stage on October 22nd. That would be followed by Poushali Banerjee, the Zee SaReGaMa Folk Champ, grooving on the 23rd of October, Nabami nite.
With Powai Sharadotsav 2023, Spandan CARES shall embark on a series of humanitarian programs like education and training for underprivileged children. The foundation will be strengthened for a series of study and mentoring centers in and around Mumbai. A special focus is being given to the aspirations of the school passouts so that they see a clear career path instead of a hazy future. Initiatives will be taken to create more vocational training centers for youth.
No Powai Sharadotsav would be complete without the lip-smacking food stalls, and so shall be this year. We have lined up Bidyut to electrify the Bong flavors, Saanvi plating out South Indian delicacies, Kwality as cool as ever, Coke to chock you with delight and yes, I can’t divulge Harshey’s surprise here.