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Indore's iconic 200-year-old Hingot War Festival interrupted this year, due to Coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 infection has gripped as many as 35,683 patients in Indore, where 1,916 continue to combat the virus while 714 have succumbed to it.

For the first time in its 200-year-old legacy, the Madhya Pradesh state authorities disallowed the celebrations of the iconic festival of 'Hingot War' in Indore, over the fears of rapid escalation of the highly transmissible coronavirus, as the district continues to be a virus hotspot in the state. The COVID-19 infection has gripped as many as 35,683 patients in Indore, where 1,916 continue to combat the virus while 714 have succumbed to it. Recovery meter stands at 33,053 cases.

COVID-19 Shadows Hingot in Indore

Uninterrupted for 2 centuries, the MP administration did not permit the locals to engage in the festivities of the Hingot this year, which is traditionally held a day after Diwali in Gautampura area near Indore as the infection tallies in the city have surged past the 1,000 mark in the days that preceded the festival of Diwali. Since, permissions and preparations are set in motion several months in advance, Indore's depreciating health index negated the possibility of any crowd celebrations.

Gautampura police station in-charge told sources that permissions for the festivities were denied this year as celebrations call for massive crowd gatherings to witness the grand event, which in turn, posed a great risk of spread of the infection among attendees. This denial not only tainted the unique tradition in the Indore but it also hurt the sentiments of the area people who were unhappy that they could not witness the festival for the first time in recent memory.

The dismissal of the festive celebrations, however, yielded positive results for the city and its people. Indore witnessed a sharp decline in the number of fresh cases in the days following Diwali. On Monday, the city reported about 597 new infections, almost half of what Indore was furnishing in the days leading to the festival. At present, Indore projects healing trends with negative daily active cases, bettering recoveries, and falling mortality count.

A festival, a tradition- Hingot

The beginning of the Hingot war tradition has a legendary inception. According to historians, the armies of kings ruling the area fought valiantly while guarding the Gautampura region in mediaeval India and attacked the cavalry of the Mughal army with hingots (a jungle fruit similar in shape to coconut) and prevented them from entering and capturing their territory. Later, this tradition became associated with religious beliefs and has continued ever since, until now.

In this unique festival, teams from two villages attack each other with 'hingots', made by removing the jungle fruit's pulp and stuffing it with gunpowder, coal and brimstone. The groups from Gautampura and Rungi villages then ignite the fruit's stem attached to a rope (like a cracker) and throw these at each other like rockets as part of what locals call the 'Hingot war'. Both groups hurl charred hingot shells at each other till one of them is defeated. A large number of people also get injured during this festival.

Knock Knock

Though cancelling the festivities of a traditional celebration wounded the religious beliefs of the locals, this administrative call was essential to arrest the spread of the aggressively active coronavirus pandemic, especially in the backdrop of the fast-approaching second wave. Preventive measures as such, along with citizen cooperation and complete adherence to government guidelines is the only way that Indore can defeat this deadly infection.

You must have heard stories and read poems about how people cross a thousand oceans and climb mountains to find love. But you don't have to go to any great lengths if the love of your life is food. All you've to do is go to your phone's App Store/Play Store and download the KnockOFF app. Easy right?

Eat to your heart's content and save big each time, with unbelievable deals on KnockOFF. So, if you are on the lookout for some steal deals today, at the most happening places in Lucknow, scroll away and take your pick:

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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

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!

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