A contest for creativity, Christmas cheer

Festive display: The tallest crib last year was made in Orlem in Malad.

Festive display: The tallest crib last year was made in Orlem in Malad.  

Mobai Gaothan Panchayat organises city’s first outdoor crib-making competition

The crib-building creativity of the Mumbai Christian community will be tested this year, with the Mobai Gaothan Panchayat (MGP) organising the city's first outdoor crib-making contest. It expects to receive around 200 to 300 entries from across Mumbai. Entries have also been sought from churches across India, including from Goa, Mangaluru, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

For application from outside Mumbai, only displays erected within church premises will be considered.

Gleason Barretto, founder-trustee of the MGP, said, “In Mumbai we estimate there will be at least 1,000 outdoor cribs displayed by local parishioners this Christmas. There are around 120 parish churches in the city, each of which, would boast of five to 10 outdoor cribs on an average in their immediate vicinity.”

Mr. Barretto said the competition is being organised in the second year of the mega Christmas festival, Sarvajanik Krist Janmotsav 2018, that has been dedicated to Kaka Baptista, a freedom fighter from the local east Indian community who fought alongside Lokmanya Tilak.

“A budget of ₹1 lakh has been earmarked and the top three entries from Mumbai will be awarded ₹11, 000, ₹7,500 and ₹5,000, besides certificates for participation.”

Applicants will have to submit two pictures of the cribs, and their contact details, before midnight on December 31, Mr. Barretto said. “There will be no cash prizes for the pan-India entries, but trophies and participation certificates will be issued. We intend to grow the festival in the coming years as interest, participation and sponsorship develops. In Mumbai, a panel of judges from the MGP will shortlist around 20 entries and then finalise the top three.”

There will be special prizes for displays with interesting themes, which maintain the basic integrity and decorum while presenting Jesus, Mary and Joseph and send a socially relevant message. Additionally, special prizes will be given for overall creativity and best display of precision artwork and symbols like the star.

The MGP had also made representations to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis through MLA Krishna Hegde, on the issue of the denotified gaothans areas. While records with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had 189 gaothans in the 1950s, the current records indicate only 88. The MGP is pursuing this with the State to ensure the inclusion of at least 189 denotified areas in the new Development Plan.

Mr. Hegde’s non-governmental organisation, the Krishna Hegde Prathisthan, has joined forces with the MGP for the crib-making contest. Mr. Hegde said the contest was the brainchild of the new head of the BJP’s Minorities Department, Alexander D’Souza. “We will put up over 100 banners announcing the contest across the city with due civic permissions. Online entries can be sent to till December 31,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:06:57 PM |

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