Sixth Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair (HSSF) here on Monday. The fair was inaugurated at Sri Ramachandra Medical University grounds by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Sri Jayendra Saraswati here on July 8.
It was a hectic week filled with a variety of competitions for students, including recitation, games and painting, seminars, medical camps, blood donation drive and cultural and religious events. As many as 238 Hindu organisations participated in the fair that was aimed at showcasing their extensive service activities.
“The organisations put up a total of 260 stalls,” said Nambi Narayanan, media coordinator, HSSF. “An estimated eight lakh people visited the fair.”
According to the organisers, the fair was a demonstration that Hindu spiritualism and lifestyle revolved around preservation of ecology, forest and wildlife and environment and inculcation of family and human values, fostering women’s honour and promotion of patriotism. Hence, the competitions too were based on the themes. The fair also witnessed experts debating on various topics such as organisation of temples, rejuvenation of rivers and Indian womanhood.
An important highlight of the fair, as eminent danseuse Padma Subramaniam pointed out at the inaugural, was the enthusiastic participation of students from different schools in the various competitions and rallies conducted by the Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation, organisers of the fair. A total of 358 schools visited the week-long fair, according to Narayanan. “There were one lakh student visitors, out of which 3,500 took part in the final event held at the venue,” he said. “The pre-fair participants in the early rounds numbered 40,000.”
Another highlight was the performance of a mass ‘Kanya Vandanam’ in celebration of the girl child. Thousand girls, below the age of 10 and drawn from government schools across the city, were honoured in a traditional ceremony conducted at the venue to the accompaniment of vedic recital.
The stalls exhibiting exotic ancient herbs, different varieties of paddy and other traditional heritage of the state, drew curious visitors. The grand finale was the ‘Srinivasa Kalyanam,’ a celestial wedding ceremony of Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavathi performed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which drew hundreds of eager devotees on the final day of the fair. “It is a rare treat to watch. Also, conducting the ceremony costs around `3 lakh,” said A K Tharakeshwar, a resident of Kumaran Nagar and a visitor.
While praising the efforts of the organisers, the septuagenarian, however, had one suggestion — that the event be organised during the holidays, so that more people could visit the fair.
Source: K G Suresh via WHN Publisher