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People of Lucknow are aware of the Bada Mangal festival and all that it entails. Bada Mangal is a holistic part of Lucknow- a part that is as inseparable from the culture as the nawabiyat or the tehzeeb. The festival that starts with the Hindu month of “Jeth” or “Jyeshta” is celebrated every Tuesday of the month (somewhere between May and June).

For us Lucknowites, Bada Mangal marks the beginning of summer and a month-long ritual, which is not simply something that we do but is a sacred habit that we cherish.

What is Bada Mangal and why is it celebrated?

There are a lot of theories revolving around why the festival is celebrated and what exactly is the festival about.

Let’s begin with “what”!

Bada Mangal is a festival dedicated to lord Hanuman, a Hindu God, and on the roads of Lucknow, you will find pandals adorned with his idol or a portrait, a few incense sticks and devotional songs playing in the background.

The devotees of lord Hanuman line outside temples and offer the God, flowers, clothes and laddoos. Besan ke Laddoo are probably one of the most iconic things about Bada Mangal.

Lord Hanuman’s idol at the Purana Aliganj Mandir and at the Aminabad temple are offered colossal amounts of flowers and sweets which is truly a sight to behold!

Moving on to the “why”, legend has it that in 1718 queen Alia Begum laid the foundation of two statues of Lord Hanuman which were found during the construction work of her mahal. Alia Begum got the statues placed somewhere in the corner of the construction area and apparently the next night in her dreams, she heard -‘install these statues and you will have a child born to you’.

Within few days Alia Begum got the statue installed and it is the temple that is now known as ‘Purana Hanuman Mandir’ in Aliganj. Alia Begum was also ‘blessed’ with a son and she named him, ‘Mangat Rai Firoz Shah’.

What does it mean?

For anyone who lives in the city, Bada Mangal is not just a “Hindu” festival- it is so much more. The festival, in its essence, celebrates the true spirit of Lucknow.

All over the city in crammed lanes and busy roads, people build pandals that serve Indian delicacies ranging from aloo-puri, boondi, kachori, chana, pulao, sharbat, lassi and much more. People arrange for clean cold drinking water outside their houses, on roads and on streets and anyone and everyone can go and ask for some!

People line outside pandals from all walks of life, irrespective of their religion, cast, economic status or belief. People stop worn out rickshaw pullers and tired masons to offer them a cold drink through the extremely hot summer days. During the entire month, especially on Tuesdays, the aim is to keep everyone around the city fed and quenched! The beauty and the harmony that the city has, comes alive during Bada Mangal and we see Lucknow in a new light every time.

For Lucknowites, Bada Mandal is not about how many flowers you offer to God- it is more about making sure that no-one goes hungry. It teaches us the delicate art of sharing and it is a substantial steps towards making our world a better place.

In the second happiest city of the country, know that in our hearts we are one and the same, regardless of our varied identities.

Tom Junod once said, "You don't have to love cooking to cook, but you have to do more than love baking to bake. You have to bake out of love." And these home bakers of Kanpur are doing exactly the same! If you believe life is too short to say no to calories and cake, read on about these dynamic bakers who are baking deliciousness out of love.

A dessert lover would understand the importance of quality baked goods and if you are one of them, we have compiled a list of some of the best home entrepreneurs in Kanpur:

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Fighting against hunger, THESE 5 NGOs are a silver lining for the needy in Lucknow!

This World Food Day, get to know about these 5 NGOs fighting against hunger in Lucknow

There is an abundance of food-delivery apps in the market today that have managed to reduce the gap between your homes and restaurants. However, there is no such modern solution to bridge the long-prevailing gap between a one-time meal and the underprivileged. No matter how developed any city in India is today, the issue of hunger is a prominent one everywhere, and Lucknow is no exception.

But keeping intact our faith in humanity, are certain groups and individuals who're working round the clock to ensure that each day, the number of people going to sleep hungry, reduces significantly. This World Food Day, get to know about 5 NGOs working towards this cause and provide them with your support however you can. A little help goes a long way!

Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organisation spread across India that operates a school lunch programme (Mid-Day meal). Established in the year 2000, the aim of this organisation is to counter classroom hunger and aid in the education of children. Reportedly, it feeds more than 18 lakh children every day, across the country. With its presence in several cities including Lucknow, the Akshaya Patra Foundation also worked to distribute food among the migrant workers during the COVID crisis last year. Donate to this noble cause by clicking on the website link attached below.

Contact: 097924 48359

Website: The Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Robin Hood Army

The Robin Hood Army is a volunteer-based organisation that was established in 2014 by Neel Ghose and Arushi Batra. This establishment works to get surplus food from restaurants and the community, to serve less fortunate people. The idea behind the conception of this NGO is to create self-sustained chapters across the world, that will look after its local community. Like all the other chapters, Lucknow Chapter of this volunteer-based organisation conducts various drives across the city. If you wish to become a part of this group log on to their official website now!

Contact: Send a mail on info@robinhoodarmy.com

Website: The Robin Hood Army

Roti Bank

Roti Bank is a citizen led organisation who's primary aim is to provide food to the needy. To attain this goal, Roti Bank has a team spread across the country including a bunch in Lucknow that is purely dedicated to the cause. Roti bank collects left-over and excess food from homes and events and distributes it among the needy. One can donate in cash or kind or even volunteer to become a part of this thoughtful initiative. Click on the website link to know more about this organisation.

Contact: 7905881802

Website: Roti bank Lucknow

Vijay Sri Foundation

Vijay Sri Foundation is a non-government organization, that was launched in the year 2009 in Lucknow. The main objective of this organisation was the distribution of food to the needy poor in hospitals. Initially, home-cooked food packets were distributed among attendants of poor patients admitted in various wards of Lucknow's King George Medical College. Gradually, the operations grew to other hospitals in the city as well. Currently, around 900 patients are served food everyday, under its "Prasadam Sewa" campaign. To join their team or contribute monetarily, log on to their official website.

Contact: 099358 88887

Website: Prasadam Sewa

Feeding India

Found in the year 2014, Feeding India was formed to solve the complex challenges of food wastage, malnutrition and hunger in India. As a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Zomato acquired this organisation in 2019 to deal with these issues. With its presence in Lucknow, Feeding India by Zomato designs interventions to decrease hunger among the communities that are underserved. If you wish to donate or know more about this organisation check out their official website.

Contact: Write to them here

Website: Feeding India

Knock Knock

Even though these organisations are working hard to improve the situation, it is upon all of us to make sure that we don't waste food and do whatever we can to help and feed the poor. To fight and beat the global problem of hunger, a collective effort is a must!

Students below the age of 18 allowed to travel in Mumbai local trains

Reportedly, all services accessible for fully-vaccinated citizens are now allowed to those under 18 & to those who can't take the jab due to medical reasons.

Ushering in relief for students, the Government of Maharashtra has decided to let students under the age of 18 avail of various services in the state. As per the order issued on Thursday, students that are not eligible for vaccination will now be allowed to travel on the local trains. Apart from this, access to other facilities like entry into malls, multiplexes, temples (in certain districts), auditoriums, restaurants and wedding halls have also been granted to those who cannot take the COVID-19 vaccine yet.

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Industries in UP to use Japanese Miyawaki method of afforestation to offset carbon emissions

Reportedly, strict action will be taken against those who fail to comply with this order.

In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint in the state and counterbalance the industrial carbon emissions, the government of Uttar Pradesh has directed all the industries present across the state, to adopt the Japanese Miyawaki afforestation technique. As per the order issued on Wednesday, strict action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the order including revoking of industry's license to operate.

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​Launch of the Mumbai flight from new Sindhudurg Airport paves way for rapid development!

Now, the beaches of Ganapatipule are just 85 minutes from Mumbai.

The launch of the Sindhudurg Airport and a flight service from Mumbai, is a milestone development that has brought the two cities closer to each other. Launched as the maiden service under the RCS-UDAN scheme, the flight will be operated by Alliance Air company, read reports. The 72-seater flight covers the 530-KM distance between the two cities in just 85 minutes.

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NITI Aayog hails Indore as the benchmark model for plastic waste management in India

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Known as the cleanest city in India, Indore has now been hailed as the benchmark model for plastic waste management in the country by the NITI Aayog. As per reports, the city's innovative garbage management concept not only reduces plastic waste but also recycles it for construction projects, promoting the ideas of sustainable development among 2 million people. The module also favours the set up of economical ways to tackle waste management and to ensure an independent system to run its activities.

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