Missiles reach festival terrain, evoke applause from visitors

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by EagleOne, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Pune No mythological or historical characters with flashy lights, no animal models, no controversial flex boards on display... The Chintamani Ganesh Mandal, located near Ahernagar Mangal Karyalaya on Walhekarwadi Road in Chinchwad, has put up an audiovisual display of India’s missile arsenal.

    Also on display is a model explaining the science of missile projectile. The decoration veers away from the traditional and historical themes, the mainstay of many a Ganesh mandal during the festival.

    Ashok Nagarkar, a scientific officer at one of the research laboratories in Pune and a “guide and friend” of the mandal, had come up with the idea during the preparatory discussions. And after days of planning, mandal decorations were ready with flex boards showing the functionality of missiles, an audio package explaining the science and a model.

    Nagarkar said, “The theme that we finalised was ‘bharatiya khepanastrachi jhep (the ‘trajectory’ of Indian missile). Each flex board that has been put up explains function, range and damage potential of each of India’s missile. For example, Nag is an anti-tank missile. We tell visitors about what is the difference between this and the other missiles that makes it a great asset of our arsenal.”

    The missiles, information of which is on display, include Prithvi, Akash, Nag, BrahMos, Astra, Shourya and Trishul.

    If a visitor to the Ganesh mandal is keen on knowing things in detail, information on India’s integrated guided missile development programme is provided in no time. “After the idea came up, mandal members quickly jumped on to it, likening to the idea of Lokmanya Tilak who started the tradition of sarvajanik Ganesh mandal over 100 years ago. After all, Ganapati is worshiped as a god of knowledge.”

    Rajkumar Kale, a mandal member, said the expenditure for the decoration was about Rs 10,000. “This is much less when compared to what you need for big lights, loud speaker walls and expensive DJ systems... In the past, we had made a display to educate people about swine flu. Before that, we had made models under the theme ‘water literacy’ and had informed people about the actual cost of consumable water reaching to us and ways to curb wastage.”

    The water literacy models had won the mandal three prizes, including that of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. “The themes set by the PCMC for prizes to Ganesh mandals are health and environment, among others. There is no separate category for science and technology. Setting up prizes for it will encourage more mandals to venture into world of science.”

    Dr Santosh Bhor, a visitor to the mandal, said, “I would describe this the real confidence building measure. Knowing about these missile and their potential definitely boosts our confidence in our scientific and defence establishments.”

    Missiles reach festival terrain, evoke applause from visitors - Express India

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