Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has been celebrating ‘Ganesh Pooja for Children’ for more than 7 years now across the country. This year, between Sep 11th and Sep 19th, it was conducted in more than 44 places including many locations where it was done for the first time. Totally, more than 1500 children performed pooja and along with their families, there were more than 4000 participants.
In most places, children either made their own Ganesh murthis or brought them. Each child got all the necessary items (such as haldi, kumkum, flowers, akshata, panchaamrutam, fruits, etc) and a Children’s Ganesh Pooja Booklet and got to perform his or her own pooja. The unique aspect of this ‘Ganesh Pooja for Children’ was that each step of the pooja was explained to the children in way that they understand and appreciate. And of course, children enjoyed the fact that they got to do their own pooja with almost no help from their parents! After the pooja, they heard some stories on Ganesh and had prasad. Thus it was not only fun
- Children made their own environment friendly Ganesh murthis from clay at many places such as Wisconsin, Arkansas, New Jersey, California, and Illinois.
- Local Gurudwara Prabandhak Commitee provided place, facilities & whole-heartedly extended support to conduct the Utsav at Wisconsin. Many Sikh families also got to participate and do Ganesh Pooja.
- In Arkansas, each child got a ‘My Ganesh’ kit which included clay play-dough, flowers, agarbatti, dry fruits, paper plate and cup, haldi, kumkum for puja, ‘My Ganesha’ booklet, Balagokulam flyer etc.
- This year, not only children but college students also celebrated Ganesh Pooja. Hindu YUVA (campus chapters of HSS) conducted Ganesh Pooja for college and university students on campuses such as Illinois State University, UC Berkeley, and George Washington University in DC.
- In Pennsylvania, over 75 Bhutanese Hindus also joined and even led bhajans at the end for more than an hour.
- In Bay Area, California, it was actually many teenagers who led the pooja. There was a separate training session for them 2 weeks prior to the pooja where they learned all the necessary shlokas and instructions.
- In Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, a Ganesh murthi was hand carved out of jaggary!
- Not only pooja but Ganesh Visarjan was also done in many places such as Wisconsin, Illinois, and California.
- In Washington, Ganesh Pooja was covered by one of the mainstream newspapers, ‘The Olympian’.